By Claire West
Burnley is celebrating after being named the most enterprising place in Britain. The Lancashire town received the accolade for its ongoing commitment to support small and medium sized businesses and for successfully reframing perceptions of Burnley.
The Burnley Bondholders scheme sets Burnley apart from the rest of Britain, an initiative that brings together over one hundred local firms that work together to promote Burnley as a place for business. Through the consortium's combined passion and hard work to promote local enterprise through media channels they have attracted £10 million to the area.
The Burnley Bondholder scheme stood out from other entries in this year’s ‘most enterprising place’ category of the Enterprising Britain Awards because it demonstrated how collaborative thinking can make a real difference to an area.
This scheme was one of four UK winners from a record number of 44 entries to this year’s Enterprising Britain Awards. The awards honour and celebrate the best public initiatives and public-private partnerships that are working hard to promote business development in communities across the UK.
Other UK winners in the awards were:
The Premier League for ‘Promoting Enterprise’,
Hackney Council for ‘Promoting Exports’
Aberdeen College for ‘School/FE College Community Enterprise’
Business and Enterprise 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 and the opportunity to represent the UK at the European Awards in November.
“These awards showcase the entrepreneurial spirit that can be found in local authorities, businesses, schools and colleges across the country.”
Councillor Julie Cooper, leader of Burnley Council, said:
“This is fantastic news for Burnley.
“We are punching above our weight and we have big ambitions. 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 as a place where enterprise and innovation are thriving.
“It’s great that we’re the most enterprising area in the UK but it’s only the start. It reflects what’s happening in our town but it’s nowhere near the end of the story. Work which is underway to create an innovative aerospace ‘supply village’ in the former Michelin tyre factory is just one excellent example of how an old manufacturing site that was symbolic of Britain’s industrial past is being transformed into a shining example of our country’s high-tech manufacturing future.
“Burnley - Britain’s most enterprising area — absolutely right.”
The Premier League won the UK category for ‘Promoting Enterprise’ for its great work in using its brand to provide tailored support for enterprise in local communities across the UK.
Richard Scudamore, Chief Executive of the Premier League, said:
"It is great to see our Premier League Enterprise Academy programme being recognised with this Enterprising Britain Award. Since first collaborating with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills in 2008, we established Enterprise Academies at twenty of our clubs.
"Through these Enterprise Academies we have now engaged over 80,000 11-19 year olds in enterprise activity; building on the interest they have in football and their local club to teach them a wide range of valuable skills.
"The hands-on nature of the project means that these young people take on real-life business challenges that our clubs face, giving them the practical experience to move into the working world well-equipped to get their first job."
Other winners of this years awards include; Hackney Council’s ‘Hackney House’ initiative for Promoting Exports and Aberdeen College for School/FE College Community Enterprise. Hackney was recognised for its ambitious promotion as a place for inward investment whilst Aberdeen College successfully built enterprise into its core curriculum, embedding an entrepreneurial culture throughout the school.
The Enterprising Britain Awards 2013 is being run on behalf of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills by Young Chamber.
Young Chamber Chief Executive Kevin Smith said:
“2013 was an excellent year for the Enterprising Britain Awards with a record number of impressive applications received from all over the UK. I would like to congratulate all of the very worthy winners in this year's competition.”
Small businesses account for over 59 per cent of the total private sector workforce in the UK, and these awards serve to recognise the importance of small and medium sized businesses both in the UK and in the European Union.
Burnley and The Premier League will go on to represent the UK at the European Enterprise Promotion Awards in Vilnius, Lithuania in November.