Businesses in Burnley have said they are well placed to benefit from the higher profile that Burnley FC's promotion to the Premier League will bring.
That was the view at Insider's Doing Business in Burnley breakfast, which attracted a bumper crowd of 120 people. The event was run in association with Burnley Borough Council and was sponsored by Taylors, Barnfield Construction, HSBC Bank and Petty Chartered Surveyors.
Burnley's promotion to the top tier of English football is worth an estimated £60m to the football club but businesses in the town have been urged to take advantage of the increased exposure it will generate.
Neil Hart, Head of Community at Burnley FC in the Community, said: "The promotion celebration is over. The focus now is on planning for the Premier League. The vision of the club is we want as many local businesses to join us on this journey."
Burnley was recently awarded the title of 'Most Enterprising Area in Britain' and Steve Rumbelow, Chief Executive of Burnley Council, said it was the latest good news story.
"The attention that the town is getting in mainly positive," he said. "We're getting a lot of interest from businesses outside the town. Although we're a manufacturing town, there's a diversity of businesses here."
Tim Webber is the Chairman and Managing Director of Barnfield Construction Group which employs 250 people and has a turnover of £60m. He said: "We have been around for 37 years. In our sector the mood is very buoyant. By May, we had a full order book until the end of the year.
"We've had five or six years of recession and people now feel confident about bringing these projects forward. Burnley winning the title of 'Most Enterprising Area in Britain' and promotion to the Premier League has created a real feel-good factor."
David Grant is the Managing Director of Moorhouse's Brewery, which marks its 150th anniversary in Burnley in 2015. It employs 32 staff and has a turnover of £5.5m.
"There's a feel-good factor around although it's too early to talk about a full recovery," he said. He also welcomed HS2: "I think it's great. We're regularly in London and the quicker I can get there the better. I think the image of Burnley and East Lancashire is improving tremendously. It's a ripple effect. There's still work to be done."
AMS Neve produces digital and analogue mixing desks that have been used in a number of Hollywood blockbusters, including Harry Potter. Founder, Mark Crabtree, said: "Around 85 per cent of what we do goes to export. Being in Burnley is no obstacle. A lot of our customers are also in London."
David Jones is the Managing Director of German manufacturer, VEKA, whose Burnley operation turns over £68m and employs 340 staff. He said: "We supply the building industry so in 2008, we lost 35 staff and all the management took a 20 per cent pay cut just to keep the business going. When the market improved, we ended up taking 19 of those workers back on. Burnley is on the up and up."
Article - NW Insider (newsco.com)