Amazing to see the expansion of Burnley as a university town right before our eyes | Burnley brand manager Rachel Bayley column

What a time we’re having in Burnley at the minute.
CGI of how Newtown Mill in Burnley will look once work has been completedCGI of how Newtown Mill in Burnley will look once work has been completed
CGI of how Newtown Mill in Burnley will look once work has been completed

It reached a pinnacle on Friday evening when two huge press releases landed in my inbox at once (at 5pm, why does news always go crazy on a Friday evening?)

The first was the amazing announcement and plans that The University of Lancashire is expanding its offering in Burnley with the complete renovation of Newtown Mill, something which has (I’m afraid to say it), been a bit of an eyesore since it lay empty.

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Derelict Burnley mill set for exciting transformation as UCLan expansion plans g...
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Wherever you go in the town centre, at some point you have to drive past the mill and it always seems such a shame that residents and visitors alike are faced with a huge empty building – we certainly don’t want to feed into the misconception that Burnley is a borough full of derelict mills.

Yes of course, there are plenty of former mills that need bringing back to life, but Rome Burnley wasn’t built in a day.

It reaffirms UCLan’s commitment to have 4,000 students here by 2025 and the plans look incredible.

The acquisition and redevelopment of the former mill on Queen’s Lancashire Way will create around 35,000 sq ft of space to accommodate innovative teaching facilities and business/enterprise engagement space, as well as public realm improvements.

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The site will provide a state-of-the-art teaching building with inspirational heritage features, high-quality teaching rooms, student social space and a business and public engagement area.

UCLan Burnley is pretty unique in that it is a canalside campus. With Victoria Mill and the purpose-built Sandygate student accommodation just up the hill, it’s amazing to see the expansion of Burnley as a uni town right before our eyes and at a pretty rapid speed.

I took a deep breath, another drink of coffee and opened up the second one. This was the news that America financial tech giant SS&C are opening a base in Burnley at Business First in Empire Way.

What a win that is for our borough!

The new customer service centre in Burnley will create an initial 50 new roles and bringing a range of employment opportunities to the area.

The positions include client services apprentices, senior associates, team leaders and managers, and will be filled between March and May.