Burnley wins UK's most enterprising Area award

Burnley business signs
Image caption Burnley Bondholders scheme has attracted £10m of investment

Burnley has been named as the most enterprising area of the UK by the government for its "pioneering" culture and economic prospects.

The Lancashire town won one of four categories in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills' Enterprising Britain Awards.

London's Hackney Council won the Promoting Exports section and Community Enterprise was won by Aberdeen College.

The Premier League also won an award for promoting enterprise.

Burnley was praised for its Bondholders scheme, which brought together over 100 firms to promote the town as a place for business and has attracted £10m of investment.

'International reputation'

Business minister Michael Fallon said: "The Burnley Bondholders scheme is reinvigorating the local economy and helping to change perceptions of Burnley.

"Initiatives like this are working hard to boost growth and thoroughly deserve recognition."

Burnley council leader Julie Cooper said: "Burnley is well on its way to forging a strong international reputation as a centre of excellence for manufacturing, particularly in the aerospace industry.

"This award reflects Burnley's growing stature in showing the way to the rest of the country in promoting manufacturing in Britain and puts us on the map."

Claire Whelan, director at BCW Engineering, said in the three years she had been with the firm she had seen it grow and expected it to go from £10m to £20m turnover in the next three years.

She said: "I really like working in the town, it's got a great sense of identity."

The Premier League won the Promoting Enterprise category after setting up 20 Enterprise Academies football clubs around the country, encouraging more than 80,000 teenagers into the world of business.

Hackney Council was recognised for its "ambitious promotion" of the area as a place for inward investment, awards organisers said, and Aberdeen College "successfully built enterprise into its core curriculum, embedding an entrepreneurial culture throughout the school".

There were 44 entries for the awards, which were scored by judges, and the winners will go on to represent the UK at the European Enterprise Promotion Awards in Lithuania in November.

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