Burnley has been hailed as “a blueprint for other boroughs to follow” by a leading Lancashire business figure
Tony Grimshaw, director of Padiham-based What More, the UK’s leading manufacturer of plastic housewares, was speaking at the latest Lancashire Hotspots event held at Turf Moor in Burnley.
He told the audience of around 60 business leaders: “Burnley has got an attitude to just get things done. It’s the attitude not only of the council but the people of Burnley.”
But he added that the borough did have its challenges, including ensuring a pipeline of future commercial development to attract new businesses and to allow existing operations to grow.
He said: “It is about the future. UCLan and Burnley College are preparing the workforce for the future; Burnley has to prepare the workplace for the future.”
Lancashire Business View’s Hotspots event at Burnley FC’s ground attracted business leaders from across the county. It was held in association with Burnley Council.
A Question Time-style discussion was chaired by Richard Slater, publisher of Lancashire Business View.
The panel feature Tony Grimshaw, as well as Kate Ingram, head of regeneration and planning policy at the council; Dharma Kovvuri, dean of the business school at UCLan; Mike Riding, MD of Process Instruments and Leon Calverley, MD of Door4.
Discussions centred around the borough’s growing digital sector, the success of the Burnley Bondholders and strengthening links between local businesses and schools.
Kate highlighted regeneration and job creating projects across Burnley including a £4m investment in the public realm in the town centre.
She said: “It is about giving it a facelift and giving people confidence to invest in the town centre and bring in more retailers.”
Kate also highlighted the digital success story emerging in Burnley, pointing out recent statistics revealing a 162 per cent increase in jobs in the local digital economy.
And she added: “People are coming to Burnley because there is a lifestyle offer here that is attractive for small businesses and a good business environment.”