The Lancashire town of Burnley has been named the most enterprising location in Britain by a government competition.
Burnley’s creation of a business-boosting initiative to bring local companies together has helped it to scoop an enterprise award.
The town’s Burnley Bondholders scheme is aimed at promoting Burnley as a location for enterprise and has so far attracted £10 million to the area through its 100-strong network of firms.
Business and enterprise minister Michael Fallon comments, ‘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.’
The Burnley scheme was one of four UK winners from 44 submissions to the Enterprising Britain Awards – alongside The Premier League for Promoting Enterprise, Hackney Council for Promoting Exports and Aberdeen College for School/FE College Community Enterprise.
The Premier League picked up the UK category for Promoting Enterprise. Richard Scudamore, chief executive of the Premier League, says, ‘Since first collaborating with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills in 2008, we established Enterprise Academies at 20 of our clubs.’
Last year, GrowthBusiness met YTKO and its Outset project, which went on the win the 2012 European Enterprise Promotion Awards Grand Jury’s Prize for its help with vulnerable groups looking to find work through self-employment and enterprise.
Speaking then, Bev Hurley, CEO of the Cambridge-based venture, said, ‘ They come from all types of background: long-term unemployed, people without many skills, those with mental and physical disabilities – a whole range of circumstances and backgrounds.’
The Burnley Bondholders scheme will now go forward to compete against other European initiatives in Lithuania come November.
Young Chamber chief executive Kevin Smith adds, ‘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.’