What a week, Burnley | Rachel Bayley column
Burnley has been making the headlines for all of the right reasons this week and what a week it’s been.
Below is a concise round-up of some of the amazing things that have happened in our borough.
1) Burnley College and the Clarets team up for Esports
Burnley College Sixth Form Centre’s talented new Esports team has joined forces with professionals from Burnley FC’s successful Esports squad in a bid to dominate the world gaming stage.
The college has this year launched its pioneering Esports course, with learners working towards an Advanced Level Diploma in Esports – the fastest growing entertainment industry in the world.
Combining dexterity, focus, analytical skills and problem solving, Esports experts are actively recruited by some of the world’s leading technology-driven organisations such as the Royal Airforce, BAE and Emirates.
Specialist tutors on the popular course ensure students develop an in-depth knowledge and skills in every aspect of managing a successful Esports team – including business strategy, marketing, design, event planning, video production and editing, journalism and “shoutcasting” – when fans live stream their own commentary over the internet.
The college has also formed its own competitive Esports team – BEES (Burnley Elite Esports). Now the Bees have officially become a feeder team for Burnley FC’s already well-established group of players – and together have formed the Elite Esports Athlete Programme.
The partnership sees the college’s logo on the Burnley Pro Esports shirts and vice-versa and gives the most talented players the chance to play for the Burnley Esports team.
2) Face-to-face events are back and booming
Burnley.co.uk had the pleasure of attending the very busy love local expo at Impact Conferencing on Sycamore Avenue last week and what an event it was.
Seeing a raft of local businesses under one roof really brings home the array of incredible sectors and companies we have in our borough.
The following day we headed to Crow Wood Hotel for the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership’s Annual Conference. It was fantastic to hear about what a powerhouse Lancashire is and we welcomed the CEO of the Eden Project from Cornwall to hear about his plans for the North Project in nearby Morecambe.
3) Burnley Council buys Charter Walk
We’re so fortunate to have two thriving town centres in our borough. Both Burnley and Padiham centres have a good mix of stores, the majority of which are independent.
Of course, many people may have been concerned when the news broke earlier this year that Charter Walk Shopping Centre was up for sale.
Recognising the importance of a thriving high street, Burnley Council stepped up and has been the successful bidder for Charter Walk.
Council leader Councillor Afrasiab Anwar said: “Our town centre plays an important role to residents, businesses and visitors. We have a catchment area of approximately 250,000 people and it is our intention to ensure that our town centre continues to be successful and vibrant.”
4) Fitness Evolution has been shortlisted for a prestigious award Fitness Evolution, Burnley College Sixth Form Centre’s outstanding onsite Sport and Fitness education centre and gym, has been shortlisted in one-of-the UK’s most prestigious fitness awards.
Fitness Evolution have been recognised in the Best Education Facility category in the National Fitness Awards, which rewards excellence and achievement in gyms and individuals across the UK.
It’s also about to open its brand new £6.5 million extension – which will include the latest health and fitness technologies including a state-of-the-art strength and conditioning gym, a thermal performance spa, an environmental chamber, cryotherapy and a plunge pool.
5) Mark Crabtree awarded Freedom of the Borough
Mark Crabtree, the founder and managing director of Burnley’s AMS Neve, has been awarded Freedom of the Borough.
Mr Crabtree took his business from his kitchen to become a world-leading company, helping to provide the soundtracks for leading musicians and Hollywood blockbusters which led to the company being awarded two Oscars.
He was awarded an OBE in 2014 for services to advanced manufacturing and create industries, recently invested a seven-figure sum in the redevelopment of the former Burnley Grammar School to create The Landmark, a digital tech hub for digital start-ups, SMEs and micro-businesses.
Some of Burnley’s greatest achievements during the time of Mr Crabtree being at the helm of the Burnley Bondholders for eight years includes being named the Most Enterprising Area in 2013, the second most successful town for digital jobs growth in 2016 and a Top 16 UK Tech Town in 2018.
I could continue, but I’ve ran out of space. Well done Burnley!