Mark Crabtree

Burnley business champion steps down after eight years

  • Burnley Bondholder chair Mark Crabtree OBE steps down after 8 years
  • He is the founder and manager director of award-winning Burnley-based AMS Neve
  • Will concentrate on continuing to grow AMS Neve and Making it in Burnley
  • A new chair of Burnley Bondholders will soon be appointed by council CEO Mick Cartledge and Burnley Bondholders

The chair of the pioneering public/private partnership Burnley Bondholders is to step down after eight years in the role.

Mark Crabtree OBE, who is founder and managing director of Burnley-based AMS Neve, has led the successful Burnley Bondholders to over 200 members. The partnership is dedicated to raising the prosperity and profile of the borough and has attracted attention from the wider business community, other local authorities and the press.

Some of Burnley’s greatest achievements during the time of Mr Crabtree being at the helm of the Bondholders 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.

Most Enterprising Area in Britain 2013

Mr Crabtree said: “I feel now is the right time for me to step down and I look forward to welcoming my successor. Burnley Bondholders is highly regarded both within and outside our borough and over the years, I’ve often been asked by other councils how the partnership is so successful. The answer, quite simply, is the spirit of the people of Burnley.

“We see what needs doing and without fanfare, we roll up our sleeves and get things done. The town has an innovative, resilient and entrepreneurial approach and this will be needed now more than ever as we navigate the post-COVID-19 era.

“I will continue to work hard for the town of Burnley, both growing my own business AMS Neve and supporting the growth of Making it in Burnley and The Landmark, which are both going from strength to strength.

“Finally, I want to thank everyone I have worked with during my role as chairman of Burnley Bondholders and I am extremely proud of what we have achieved. I wish my successor all the best.”

AMS Neve makes world-class products that are highly regarded particularly in the music and film industries. Sir George Martin, often described as the “Fifth Beatle”, once said “Neve consoles are the Rolls-Royce of the industry”. It is based at AMS Technology Park on Billington Road.

Mark Crabtree behind a high tech AMS Neve sound board
AMS Neve

Making it in Burnley is an aspiration strategy to help boost the attainment of young people in the town. It covers a raft of initiatives and stakeholders including UCLan, Burnley College, the head teachers of schools, Burnley Council and the Children’s University.

An important part of Mr Crabtree’s education and skills work is Primary Engineer, which he brought to Burnley. It aims to develop children and young people through engagement with engineering and address the gender imbalance in science and engineering. Its Burnley HQ is based at AMS Neve, which funded engineering lessons for 28 primary schools in the town. The lessons were delivered with engineers from Burnley Bondholder companies and Burnley was the first location in the UK to have such a town-wide initiative.

Another significant contribution he has made to the town is The Landmark, the historic building which now provides creative work spaces and business support for start-ups and growing businesses. A first for Burnley, The Landmark – the former Burnley Grammar School on School Lane – also focuses on providing inspiring environments for students, kitted with the latest technology.

The Landmark

Mick Cartledge, Burnley Council’s Chief Executive said: “Mark’s contribution to Burnley Bondholders cannot be underestimated. From day one, he has been passionate about driving our town forward and promoting it as a great place to live, work, study and explore.

“He leaves the Bondholders in a strong position and I have begun the process to find a successor with the same passion and commitment to Burnley. I know I speak for everyone when I say a huge thank you to Mark and we look forward to celebrating his achievements when the time is right and safe for the bondholders to come together.

“A new chair of Burnley Bondholders will be appointed shortly.”

About Burnley Bondholders

Burnley Bondholders at Turf Moor on the 10th anniversary

Burnley Bondholders is a private sector led, private/public partnership dedicated to raising the prosperity and profile of the borough; an innovative and successful scheme which has been growing for ten years and is made up of over 200 members.

In short, Burnley Bondholders are passionate about the benefits of being based in Burnley and where the town is heading. Bondholders, private and public, contribute their resources and are supported through PR, marketing materials, networking events and trade visits.

We firmly believe we are stronger together – a powerful network helping Burnley to flourish, which in turn attracts further investment and growth, benefitting our town, residents and businesses.

The success of Burnley Bondholders has attracted attention across the UK from the press, local authorities and business leaders. We are proud that ten years later, we are still leading the way stronger together. Further information can be found here https://burnley.co.uk/business/about-the-bondholder-scheme/