This week a Centre for Cities report found that the town’s High Street businesses had been the least affected in the country by the Covid pandemic, with residents continuing to support local businesses throughout the crisis.
Burnley’s businesses lost the equivalent of eight weeks of sales over the past two years, compared to Manchester for example which lost 41 weeks.
It follows excellent wider work, carried out through the Business Improvement District (BID), to continue attracting visitors to the shopping centre from a wide area and ensuring a healthy local economy.
That work, in turn, is supported by other regeneration projects such as the £4m. investment in improvements to the town centre, the creation of a heritage Action Zone (HAZ) to boost lower St James’s Street, and the purchase by the council of Charter Walk shopping centre to help ensure its long-term future.
This week also sees the official start of work on the £23m. Pioneer Place cinema and leisure complex which will bring more visitors to the town.
Council leader Coun. Afrasiab Anwar said: “These are exciting times for the town and it’s easy to forget all the changes that have taken place over the past few years.
“We’ve made great progress and there’s much more to look forward to.
“Much of this work is about delivering long-term sustainability for our town centre as people’s shopping habits change. We’re continually striving to find new ideas and new ways of making Burnley more attractive and developing the town centre to ensure it has a vibrant and exciting future.
“We’re continuing to develop a town centre masterplan that brings all the various threads around regeneration and development together. The improvements that have already taken place, and those still to come including the expansion of UCLan and the transformation of Burnley into a university town, are all part of that ambitious vision.
“We will continue to work with partners to deliver that vision to create a town where people want to live, work and visit.”