NEVER ones to miss an opportunity to positively promote our area, my colleague Brent Forbes and I appeared on BBC Radio Lancashire to congratulate Burnley FC, ahead of the Championship trophy presentation and parade earlier this month.
We were asked about the Clarets’ magnificent achievement, but also about some of the impact the team’s promotion to the Premier League will have. Clearly, the football club will benefit hugely from the financial windfall following promotion.
But, what about Burnley and our area more generally? We’re agreed that the town’s profile is set to sore. There’s been lots of excellent work in recent years that has seen inward investment and a much more positive view of Burnley presented in the media. But the team’s success now presents the “New Burnley” to a global audience.
Brent, our Commercial Director takes the view that the opportunity for business relocation to the area is enhanced – we have excellent transport links, available commercial space and a skilled workforce. And all this in a town with a Premier League team that projects our industrious nature to the world. I imagine every company in Burnley that has a box at Turf Moor is dealing with suppliers and customers who are dropping large hints that they’d like to see the Clarets in action!
For my part, I’ve always understood what a great place to live this is. It’s a beautiful area with outstanding countryside, a rich history and a great work life balance. In the past, when the TV cameras came to town, they often presented Burnley as the stereotypical “former mill town”. We’re proud of our heritage, but this coming season it would be nice if we saw fewer of the clichés – mill chimneys, flat caps and whippets.
Instead, it would be great to see a bit more of the colourful, confident and vibrant town we know and love – the town where you get great affordable property, world beating businesses and spectacular scenery.
In short, we have a Premier League team and a Premier League town!