It’s official: January was the longest month in Burnley ever | Rachel Bayley column
We kicked off with the save the date for the Burnley Business Awards, which will be held at Towneley Hall on June 30.
The last ones were 2019 and were supposed to be held again in 2021 (bet you can’t guess what the delay was down to!?).
But we are thrilled to see that not only are they back, but nominations have opened. Businesses in our borough – you have until midnight April 8 to get in your nominations and you can find out more at burnleybusinessawards.co.uk
New for this year is the Environmental Excellence Award.
Businesses need to take seriously the green agenda, not least because customers will increasingly demand the companies they work with are doing everything they can to meet carbon net zero targets and be more sustainable and responsible.
We were delighted when the COP26 bus came to Burnley last year and we know that our innovative companies are finding ways to lessen their impact on the environment.
We’ve also had several visits from the regional and broadcast press. Granada Reports spent the morning in our town centre after a Centre for Cities report found Burnley to have been the most successful town centre during the pandemic.
We only lost eight weeks worth of trade, when some locations lost almost a year’s worth. We firmly believe our loyal local customers, wide range of independent and big name brands and determination of companies to keep going all contributed to our success.
Just last week GB News pitched up at the stunning Rosehill House Hotel to discuss levelling up and the ambitions of Burnley. They were also at the bustling Burnley Markets to discuss our thriving town centre – and if you haven’t been to the markets recently, I highly recommend you do.
The range of food stalls are fantastic, from Japanese and Thai to Vietnamese and Chinese. There’s also plenty of new stalls that have popped up, including Is it Vegan? And if you pop in at lunchtime, you’ll see just how busy it is, with student offers making it particularly attractive to those studying at the nearby Burnley College and UCLan Burnley campus.
Then of course, work has commenced on Pioneer Place. One of the most common comments we get on the Burnley.co.uk social media channels when we post about Pioneer Place is people not being convinced that the project will go ahead.
We understand this, as it’s been talked about for quite some time now. But I was at the groundbreaking ceremony at the end of January and can confirm that I saw work start with my very own eyes. It. Is. Happening.
I managed to speak to KC Suri, MD at Reel Cinema, who told me the fantastic offering the relocated cinema will have, including diverse films. This will include Bollywood and Polish titles, as well as films for hard of hearing and autistic customers.
There will also be a children’s play centre and improved food and beverage offering. We can’t wait and to also hear which brands are moving into the five leisure units.
So yes, we’ve certainly been run off our feet during January, but it’s all been positive. Bring on February!