InBusiness Burnley - Issue 23, May 2024

Page 1


Burnley’s next batch of Future Leaders
Feature In Focus News Fleming & Howland pg26 Future Leaders pg41 VEKA unveils future plans pg5 Issue 23

We believe we have created a setting that will surpass anything you could begin to expect from a corporate events venue

To us, every function is a bespoke event. We will deliver to your individual, exacting requirements


Welcome from the editor

Welcome to the latest issue of InBusinessBurnley, covering the last six months of business news from our borough. Of course, we can only share a fraction of the good news stories, so please follow on all our social media channels to read more success stories from our businesses. And, if you have a story you would like to share, please get in touch.

As always throughout the magazine we take a deeper dive into the back stories of some fantastic local companies - from the family business exporting bespoke furniture across the world to the couple who specialise in headhunting talent from across the globe. Burnley really is an eclectic mix of industries.

Our in-focus section looks at a handful of Burnley’s upcoming talent - from the first cohort of the pioneering Future Leaders programme to the 21-year-old business owner making his mark on the world of marketing. We have a borough of ambitious and motivated young people passionate about continuing to make Burnley a fantastic place to live and work. The future certainly looks bright!

Apprenticeships are a fantastic route for young people to enter employment and we’ve got success stories from Grace Francis, double winner at this year’s Themis Inspire and Achieve Awards, and Saima Begum and Harry McCarthy from SS&C Technologies. For those needing a little more support, supported internships are another path into employment.

Tegan Mulby is a shining example, having completed such an internship through DFN Project SEARCH. Find out how Tegan’s placement at Positive Footprints has led to full-time employment on page 62.

If growing your organisation in the borough is something you are interested in, why not get in touch with our Business Support Team to find out how they can help. Email them at and find out more online –

design by:
41 Burnley’s Future Leaders 34 The journey of Woodland Assist Global 12 New low-carbon building for Safran © Burnley Council 19392 Printed by Peter Scotts Printers [t] 01282 452221 28 The
of Bandicoot 3

Financial Affairs on track to achieve ’10 in 10’ growth plan with third acquisition

Burnley-based Financial Affairs, a leading insurance broker and financial planning firm, has set itself the goal of growing the business to ten times its current size over ten years. The business is well on its way to achieving this goal with a series of acquisitions over the last two years.

The first acquisition for the group was Keighley-based JL Bailey Insurance, followed by Leeds-based Financial Planners AD Wealth Ltd. It has now welcomed Burnleybased insurance brokers Margins Insurance Services into its growing portfolio.

“The strategic acquisitions mark a major expansion for our Financial Affairs group, which is poised to emerge as one

of the North West’s leading independent insurance brokers and financial experts with our projected ‘10 in 10’ growth plan.” says Laurence O’Connor, CEO of Financial Affairs.

The key to making the acquisitions a success is the businesses’ shared ethos of providing high-quality service to their clients, as Laurence explains: “Our collaboration with Margins, a fellow Burnley-based firm, spans several decades. Having worked in close proximity in the past, we often shared advice with one another and later discovered how aligned our values were. In particular, our shared commitment to creating strong, personal relationships with our clients. Margins, much like us,

take great pride in tailored face-to-face financial services. We’re excited to have welcomed them into our team!”

Financial Affairs has been in business for over 50 years, having been established in 1972 by Laurence’s father, Michael, as a result of his frustration over a lack of service provided by insurance brokers. Now, it offers personal insurance, business insurance, financial planning and wellbeing, and risk resilience services to individuals and organisations. The company works with businesses that span multiple industries including manufacturing, construction, retail, rural, tech and property industries.

4 News

Burnley-based VEKA plc unveils its future plans

Burnley-based VEKA plc has unveiled its exciting future plans and how it will continue to lead in the areas that make up its DNA –quality, innovation and sustainability – across the fenestration industry.

The world-leading PVCu supplier shared exclusive details of its strategic direction and latest range of products and services with partners at a recent collaboration event.

Fabrication businesses from across the UK & Ireland came together at Crow Wood Hotel & Spa in Burnley, for a full day of partnership activities and information sharing focused on VEKA’s commitment to delivery of the highest quality products, innovative approaches and sustainable solutions.

Neil Evans, managing director at VEKA plc, said: “VEKA is dedicated to revolutionising the PVCu sector through our approach to design, innovation and customer focus. Our latest developments and new products, developed through collaboration with industry partners, will introduce a new era to the window and door sector.”

VEKA’s pioneering approach to the design and manufacture of the highest quality systems was on display at the event through a special preview of its brand-new product suite. Developed in collaboration with fabrication partners, to bring enhanced aesthetic appeal and technical prowess to the market, the product looks set to set to be a game-changer

for the PVCu windows and doors sector.

Partners who attended also gained the opportunity to learn about VEKA’s innovative digital design support and specification tool for the fenestration industry, WinDoPlan, designed to help users navigate upcoming changes to the Future Homes Standard. Plus, information was shared about how VEKA Recycling is leading the way and demonstrating its commitment to keeping material in the UK, through its pioneering approach towards enabling a sustainable closed-loop system for the PVCu sector.

Mark Dicconson, managing director at John Fredericks Plastics Ltd added: “The day was universally seen as a huge success by everyone I spoke to at and after the event. It was obvious that VEKA wants to engage with customers and assist in their future prosperity with a combination of innovation/service and technical support. The event exceeded my expectations.”

During the day a range of senior leaders from the VEKA team shared updates and insight with customers, including presentations from Andreas Hartleif, CEO at VEKA Group and Neil Evans, managing director at VEKA plc, plus many more. Key messages highlighted how VEKA is committed to working hand in hand with industry partners to advance the market and be at the forefront of its future – and how its values drive that focus.

Neil added: “I make no apologies for consistently referring to our dedication and focus on delivering the highest levels of quality, innovation and sustainability, because it’s what we do. These pillars run through VEKA – it’s in our DNA.”

During the event, attendees also listened to guest speaker, Matt Williams, chief operating officer at Burnley Football Club, share stories and insight around the subject of nurturing talent. Later during the evening celebrations, guests were entertained by entrepreneur and ‘Bank of Dave’ star David Fishwick and magician Jason Rea.

Mark Powell, sales director at Direct Trade (Yorkshire) Ltd commented on the event: “It was a pleasure to spend the day with our key partner VEKA – great to see some innovation and ideas to assist our future growth. Time is precious within any business, but it was well worth taking the time out to see what the future offers from our partner.”

VEKA plc is a leader in the design, development and extrusion of PVCu door, window and conservatory systems. Established for over 50 years’, it employs more than 400 people from its UK manufacturing facility based in Burnley, Lancashire, and proudly supplies the market’s most specified PVCu systems in the world.


CoolKit reaffirms its commitment to Burnley

CoolKit, the UK’s largest specialist in refrigerated vans, has reaffirmed its commitment to Burnley following the devastating fire at one of its Farrington Place units.

CEO Rupert Gatty received a new Burnley Bondholder certificate from Burnley Council chief executive Lukman Patel, who was joined by Martyn Hardacre from the business support team and Burnley place brand manager Rachel Bayley.

Following a major fire, CoolKit retain a unit on the Rossendale Road Industrial Estate to carry out their panel manufacturing operations, whilst assembly operations have relocated to a premises in Blackburn.

“CoolKit is a proud member of the Burnley Bondholders and the local business community, and I just want to reiterate my thanks for all the support we received following that fire. I’m delighted to announce that despite that, where thankfully all our employees were unharmed, we’re now in the strongest position we have ever been in.

“A number of major contract wins have necessitated an intensive recruitment drive, which continues as our headcount passes130 people employed across our two sites. This is in conjunction with substantial investment in plant and machinery, with more than £500,000 recently invested in new CNC machinery. Our order book for van conversions and insulated bodywork is the fullest it’s ever been, which is a testimony to all of the hard work of our employees and the support we received from the council and business community to get to this position,” Rupert said.

6 News 1067430 IBB A5 landmark Business adverts V2.qxp_Layout 1 20/03/2024 13:18 Page 1



There will soon be a new location to pick up your daily coffee from, but it’s not your average coffee shop. The Coffee Mill on Sandygate, Burnley will be run by the staff and students of Ridgewood Community High School.

The project will be lead by lead practitioner and special educational needs coordinator Sarah Booth and her team. While the shop will serve top quality coffee the prices will reflect the fact the venue is being run as a non-profit venture by the charity.

Kim Floyd, school business manager, says: “We need somewhere for our students aged 16 to 19 to gain some real-life skills and improve their employability. Through our charity, the Friends of Ridgewood Community, we decided to open a coffee shop to give them experience in working and communicating

v2 OL.qxp_Layout 1 20/03/2024 13:16 Page 1

with different people. When our headteacher Ian Carden spotted the unit on Sandygate he thought it would be the ideal location.”

The Coffee Mill has been fitted out to a high standard by Barrow Construction, Wood Integrated Building Services and Fire & Audio Solutions.

The charity is also utilising a second unit to use as a classroom for students post high school: “The offsite location and sense of independence that our adult learners gain is essential for their progression into the adult world and employment. Being so close to UCLan it also gives them a sense of belonging with their peers and local student community,” explains Kim. Keep an eye on the Ridgewood Community High School Facebook page for more information.

WorkHard, Wo k H W a Work Hard,

play h rd! la d! hard! 1067430 IBB
FUN advert

+24 Welcomes Industry Luminary as chairman

Burnley-based +24, a leading digital agency renowned for its innovative solutions and transformative impact on businesses across the UK, is pleased to announce the appointment of Jamie Tinsley as chairman.

The +24 business, established in 2010, has consistently delivered unparalleled digital strategies and growth solutions to its diverse clientele. The addition of Jamie to the leadership team marks a significant milestone in the company’s journey towards continued excellence and expansion.

Jamie brings with him a wealth of experience and expertise garnered from a distinguished career across packaging, creative design, brand development and advertising sectors. Previously CEO of global business, Spark, a creative agency

working with some of the world’s most prominent brands such as Microsoft and Netflix, his strategic insights and visionary leadership are expected to further elevate +24’s position as an industry leader.

“We are thrilled to welcome Jamie to our team,” said Dave Walker, MD and founder of +24. “His proven track record of driving growth and innovation aligns perfectly with our commitment to delivering exceptional results for our clients. With his guidance, we are confident in our ability to unlock new opportunities and take our agency to greater heights.”

In his new role, Jamie will work closely with the executive team to shape the strategic direction of +24, fostering collaboration, innovation and sustainable growth.

“I am extremely excited to join +24 as chairman and be able to work alongside a talented team,” said Jamie, adding “The company’s dedication to pushing the boundaries of digital excellence is truly commendable and I look forward to contributing to its ongoing success.”

Jamie joins +24 at a time of dynamic growth and evolution in the digital landscape, with emerging technologies shaking up the industry. His appointment underscores the company’s commitment to staying at the forefront of industry trends, delivering unparalleled service, assistance and transformational growth opportunities for its clients.

8 News
9 SPRING ON LTHAM BAXENDEN CLAYTON-LE-MOORS COAT ISHTON MARKET HALL OSWALDTWISTLE NOTGNIRCCA MAHTLA B A X D E B H O RN CLAYTON-LE-MOORS C H U R C H HUNCOA GREAT HARW O H T M TEKR LLAH LAWSO WT S T L 4pp ection. ayou 14/04/2023 Our In-house Services Include: Creative Studio Photographic Studio 24 Hour Print Production Public Relations Social Media Signage I Livery Procurement Fullment I Storage Telesales Market Research Reporting Sponsorship Exhibition Management Digital Production I Asset Management Event Management Film Production We can maximise your brand through strategy and planning, helping you shape your future growth. For support on your 2024 marketing plan call Murray 01282 426846 or email: JulieHesmondhalghx Video & Photography Magazines & Newsletters Event Management Content Creation, PR & Social Media Websites Branding & Signage Scan the QR code to find out more about Peter Scott Printers t: 01282 452221 | e: w: Strong branding • Innovative campaigns • Consistent print and digital messages • 25,000 sq ft in-house services SCOTT DAWSON ADVERTISING

World-leading sound board engineers honoured with King’s Award for Enterprise

Burnley-based AMS Neve, the double Oscar winning experts in crafting sound recording equipment for film, music and television, has been recognised with a prestigious King’s Award for Enterprise.

AMS Neve, led by its founder and managing director Mark Crabtree, OBE, has been honoured for its excellence in international trade.

The globally renowned business, better known in Hollywood than its home town of Burnley, has decades of experience in crafting quality sound recording equipment, leading the way in advanced sound technology through innovation, expertise and precision engineering.

The company wins the King’s Award for International Trade for Outstanding Growth in Overseas Sales, reflecting the company’s world domination in its field.

Employing 93 people, AMS Neve has an enviable reputation as leaders in designing and producing ground breaking sound recording equipment.

Mark Crabtree was awarded an OBE for services to advanced manufacturing and the creative industries in 2015 and was given two scientific and technical Academy Awards for advancing the art

and science of sound production. Further awards include a Grammy and an Emmy.

The iconic AMS Neve consoles are revered across the music, film and broadcast world, with stars including Kate Bush, Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins and Def Leppard utilising the ‘sound of Neve,’ helping them achieve chart topping success.

In the film world, the annual Oscars continue to feature award winning films recorded or mixed using AMS Neve technology, including most recently, this year’s blockbuster winner Oppenheimer whose Oscar winning sound track was recorded and mixed on an AMS Neve console.

Mark Crabtree said: “To receive the King’s Award for Enterprise is a great honour for the company and our dedicated, world class, integrated team who continue to innovate and break new ground with cutting edge digital and analogue sound recording equipment.

“We are a proud British company with a long pedigree of manufacturing the very best quality engineered products that we export around the world.

“All our products are designed and manufactured in the UK at our factory in Burnley, against a trend for off-shoring, requiring significant investment in advanced

machinery in order to compete.

In the past three years alone, overseas revenue, total turnover and net profits at AMS Neve have doubled. The United States accounts for 55% of overseas sales, with Europe, Asia and Australia making up the rest.

Mark added: “To receive the King’s Award for Enterprise in recognition of our work is really important for the company and extremely encouraging to us all.

“We have previously received three Queen’s Awards for Enterprise so to now be recognised with one of the first King’s Awards is a real honour.”

The award will be presented at a special ceremony to be held at Windsor Castle on July 9th. The King’s Awards for Enterprise, previously known as The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, were renamed last year to reflect His Majesty The King’s desire to continue the legacy of HM Queen Elizabeth II’s by recognising outstanding UK businesses.

The Award programme, now in its 58th year, is the most prestigious business award in the country, with successful businesses able to use the esteemed King’s Awards Emblem for the next five years.

10 News

New careers and education event to come to Burnley

A new careers and education event to inspire the next generation is coming to Burnley after a ten-year hiatus.

Find Your Future is an inspirational event that shines a spotlight on some of the apprenticeships, careers and further education available in Burnley, with almost 50 exhibitors with interactive stands booked to take part in October 2024 at Impact Conferencing in Burnley.

Burnley hasn’t had a dedicated event of this type for ten years, but, Burnley Council, Inspira, FutureU and the secondary schools in the borough have come together to launch this new event.

It will initially see Year 11s from the borough’s secondary schools attend the inaugural Find Your Future event, with the potential to expand to other age groups as the event develops.

Fran Ackroyd, careers lead, Shuttleworth College, said: “We are delighted to

announce Find Your Future, filling a much-needed gap in Burnley to provide inspiration for Year 11 students, with the aim to expand the event with each year it runs. We know we have incredible businesses, educational opportunities, and apprenticeships in the borough, and it’s important we show the students what they can achieve right here on their doorstep.

“We want to say a huge thank you to the place brand team and Burnley Council, who have been driving forces behind Find Your Future, along with my fellow career leads at the secondary schools, who have all come together to make sure the date worked for us all and met the students’ and schools’ expectations.”

Rachel Bayley, Burnley place brand manager, added: “We know how many amazing businesses, education and apprenticeship partners and sectors we have here and talk about them every

day on the and burnley. social social media channels.

“The Burnley brand team and council have been closely working with our secondary schools and when they told us of the demand for an event here, we knew we could work together to make it happen. We’re delighted that Find Your Future will launch in October, and we hope it is the start of something exciting – it isn’t a careers fair, but so much more.”

Samantha Smallridge, employment and skills co-ordinator at Burnley Council, stated: “This is a brilliant event that will help our young workers of the future as they take massively important decisions that will shape their lives. They may not know about the full range of opportunities we have in the borough, so this event will pack just a handful of these partners into one place, with the goal to educate and inspire and raise the aspirations for the next generation.”

11 Addmail Solutions Limited is a Direct Marketing company based in Burnley. WE OFFER: • Direct Mail Marketing • Design • Digital Colour Print • Data Management • Inkjetting Personalisation • Fulfilment For more information email or call T 01282 795 335 or M 07494 876 687 Addmail Solutions, Suite 7, International House, Springhill Road, Burnley BB11 2LQ Scan to visit our website Cost Effective Direct Mail Solutions • Merchandise Printing – T shirt Printing & Signage C M Y CM MY CY CMY K Addmail Ad 1.pdf 1 08/04/2024 10:26

New low-carbon building for Safran Nacelles

The Safran Nacelles site on Bancroft Road, Burnley, has undergone a profound metamorphosis over the past year, as they have relocated three of their manufacturing assembly lines into a state-of-the-art, lowcarbon building.

Safran Nacelles is a global leader in aircraft nacelles and after-market services and relies heavily on its Burnley site. The site, along with its sister sites in Le Havre (France) and Casablanca (Morocco), plays a critical role in its manufacturing process. It designs, develops, manufactures, and supports nacelle systems for civil aircraft, specifically commercial and business jets. The company employs 650 people, including full-time apprentices and contractors.

One of the most remarkable aspects of this project was that deliveries to the customers for the affected lines—the Airbus A330neo, Trent 700 for the Airbus A330ceo, and the Dassault F8X—were maintained during this period of significant change. This achievement

is a testament to the meticulous planning, dedication, and collaboration of the teams that oversaw the transformational project.

As well as the relocation of over 120 manufacturing assets, the project included the creation of brand-new offices and amenities and starts a journey towards a modern, comfortable, and state-of-the-art environment for site employees, reflecting a commitment to well-being, productivity and safety. It also significantly contributed to the site’s low-carbon journey, reducing the carbon output by a staggering 371 tonnes per year. This achievement is not just a statistic but a testament to a commitment to a greener and more sustainable future. A living wall was installed to improve air quality and create a greener environment, and innovative waterless urinals have been piloted to reduce water use on site – of course whilst maintaining the highest standards or cleanliness and hygiene.

The team also took the opportunity to

improve operational efficiency, including introducing foam boxes that provide exactly the right tools for each stage of the assembly, easier access to line-side consumables, and a review of process flows along the lines. Going forward, ongoing digital improvements will accelerate these improvements by providing the team with real-time data to enable them to make fast-paced, datadriven decisions that will improve on-time delivery, quality, and energy efficiency.

Grand reveal

The site was officially opened in February with an event attended by 160 esteemed guests, including employees, suppliers, and key stakeholders who have played pivotal roles in the success of this transformative project.

Guests were treated to an exclusive facility tour after the grand reveal. Presentations by enthusiastic employees showcased how the new factory incorporates cutting-edge processes, digitalisation,

12 News

and sustainable practices, significantly enhancing communication and production efficiency while minimising the environmental impact.

“Our commitment to innovation and sustainability is at the core of Safran’s values. This new facility represents a leap forward in our production capabilities and a testament to our dedication to reducing our carbon footprint,” remarked Vincent Caro, Safran Nacelles’ CEO.

Ongoing innovations

The team at Safran are working with The Coal Authority and Burnley Council on an exciting project to use the geothermally heated water from the old coal mines under the site to heat the buildings and reduce the use of gas by around 80 per cent. This could be one of only a handful of sites worldwide where this is possible.

This success is another step along the road for Safran’s broader transformation of the site. Renovation of the main office space will be finished in mid-2024, and plans are underway to open up more factory space to accommodate the growing business.

Addmail Ad 2.pdf 1 05/04/2024 15:10

What makes Eco Loop stand out?

A World-First Design: With no metal hooks or plastic buckle, our biodegradable and recyclable lanyard is a pioneer in the promotional products industry.

Made in the UK: Our lanyards are proudly produced in Burnley UK

Fully recyclable: Our fully recyclable lanyard and badge is designed to be easily placed in recycling bins, further minimizing its impact on landfills.

Full-Colour Printing: These lanyards can be printed in full colour on both sides.

Quick Turnaround: With a turnaround of less than 2 weeks after artwork approval, you can count on these lanyards for your time-sensitive events. FOR MORE INFORMATION email or call 01282 795 335 or 07494 876 687

Introducing The NEW Biodegradable Lanyard for Conferences & Festivals Scan to visit our website C M Y CM MY CY CMY K

Recognition for Burnley-based business making significant impact

A globally renowned technology provider specialising in water quality monitoring and enhancement solutions, spanning over 60 countries worldwide, has recently been honoured with the prestigious Business Excellence in Burnley award. Instituted by Burnley Council, this accolade acknowledges outstanding businesses that contribute significantly to the borough’s long-term development and investment.

Process Instruments, founded by managing director Mike Riding and service engineer director Jonathan Cook, received a 25-year award during a surprise presentation. The recognition commemorates their enduring commitment to the region.

The award ceremony took place during a visit by the council’s chief executive Lukman

Patel to the Process Instruments facility.

The Burnley-based company is a leading producer of technology employed in diverse applications, from swimming pools to water sources managed by utility companies globally. Notably, the Crow Wood Hotel and Spa, a local client, utilises Process Instruments’ technology to maintain spa water quality.

In 2021, Process Instruments received two Queen’s Awards, including one for innovation. The company emphasizes its dedication to sourcing materials and equipment locally, exemplified by substantial investments in its Spring Mill premises since relocating in 2020. The Spring Mill facility, a revitalized industrial unit, reflects the company’s commitment to sustainable growth.

Process Instruments were recognised

as as a local success story with a global reputation, evolving from a weekend project to a multi-million pound enterprise employing over 40 individuals. The Business Excellence in Burnley award recognises not only excellence but also investment, innovation, and a commitment to being the best.

Mike Riding, managing director of Process Instruments, expressed his delight at the surprise award, stating, ‘Pi is very proud to hail from Burnley, and being recognized by our hometown as an excellent business on our 25th anniversary holds significant personal and collective meaning for all of Pi’s employees who contribute to our success.’

In the previous year, the Business Excellence in Burnley awards honoured BCW, Crow Wood Hotel and Spa, and Hycrome.

14 News
Impress clients YOUR For further information, and to book a FREE taster session or for any other enquiries please contact the Business Support Team at The contemporary and stylish workspace at Room + Power really has the wow factor. The fusion of the historic architecture and bespoke interior design create a lasting impression and our exclusive meeting rooms make the perfect place to host clients. JOIN OUR SECURE & EXCLUSIVE CO-WORKING SPACE FROM AS LITTLE AS £40 PER MONTH.

10 YRS

of changed lives. of Burnley FC in the Community.

It’s a special year for Burnley FC in the Community; 2024 marks ten years since the charity was established.

The Burnley FC badge is a powerful tool for the charity to do their work, but did you know that their work transcends football?

The charity spearheads more than fifty community projects that span Burnley, Pendle, Rossendale, the Ribble Valley, and West Yorkshire. The charity’s efforts are channelled into three key areas: Football, Sport and Education, Welfare and Inclusion and Community Facilities. Their diverse programmes cover a wide range of issues including mental health, youth violence, cancer rehabilitation, food poverty and numerous others.

We were surprised to hear that the charity have staff based directly in police custody who work with young adults, with the ultimate aim of reducing their re-offending rate and chance of becoming victims or perpetrators of violence. Simply seeing the badge can open up a conversation and allow the charity’s staff to diffuse situations and support officers. The charity works in partnership with local agencies such as Lancashire Police, the Community Safety Unit, Lancashire Child and Family Wellbeing Service and Lancashire Youth Justice Service.

Incredibly, not one single person who entered the programme in 2023 went on to have further contact with the police, showing how early intervention using the power of the club badge works.

Helen Gurman, chief executive of Burnley FC in the Community, said: “Throughout our ten years, we have leveraged the influence and passion surrounding football to deliver impactful programmes. From veterans and cancer rehabilitation to grassroots football and school days at Whitehough, the breadth of what we do continues to astound me.

“I’m so proud to be in this role, but it really is the team of employees and volunteers who make it all possible.”

A 2023 Snapshot

Detailing ten years of success stories would warrant a book on its own, so let’s take a look at some headline statistics from 2023:

• 42 new veterans recruited since 2023;

• Almost 800 people engaged with at Whitehough;

• Over £3 million spent on activities such as welfare and inclusion and football, sports and education;

• The launch of Clarets Rise – Cancer Rehabilitation Programme;

• Received the Sports and Alliance Award for their Schools Mental Wellbeing

Project (where 80 per cent of students said they had an improved mood);

• 21 students progressed from the Player Development Centre to shadow the Burnley FC Youth Team;

• Engaged with over 373 young people and adults with SEND;

• Enough meals and food bank items were donated to feed Turf Moor’s capacity twice over.

It’s just the tip of the iceberg and pretty impressive when you consider that, despite often believed, the charity are financially independent from the football club. They rely on fundraising activities, donations, sponsorship, and grants to do the work we do and every penny we raise goes to developing new opportunities for those who need it most.

Brian Nelson, who has been the chair of trustees since the charity’s inception, said: “Our unwavering dedication to recognising and fulfilling the needs of our community is our guiding principle. During 2023 we quadrupled the number of children attending our programmes with SEND.

“We persist in presenting new and exciting opportunities for those who need it most, all while maintaining our position as a powerful force for good in Burnley and the surrounding areas.”

16 News



A Burnley business has created, what it believes to be, the world’s first fully biodegradable lanyard. Addmail Solutions, in partnership with Connex Promotions, has designed the eco-loop to replace traditional fabric lanyards which often end up being thrown away once used.

Paul Keogh, Sales Director at Addmail, explained: “We’ve worked closely with Connex for a while and had discussed the idea of creating a biodegradable lanyard a few years ago. It’s taken lots of research as we wanted to make sure every element was biodegradable. The product is made from recycled card and fastener made of a bio-degradable plastic which can be recycled or even put in your compost bin!”

Despite only launching recently, the company has seen significant interest and recently supplied lanyards for the Dubai World Insurance Congress. The products are made by hand at Addmail’s base on Springhill Road in Burnley and can incorporate any design.

“As the product is printed and manufactured in-house we have a really quick turnaround of less than two weeks. We can incorporate a company’s branding into both the lanyard and name card, including QR codes for those wanting to register delegates electronically. We can also use perforation to add vouchers, should you want delegates to be able to claim for lunch or refreshments” said Paul.

If you are interested in finding out more contact

business Telecoms | Full fibre data connections | 4g/ 5g connectivity | Office 365 | business it support digital print | flexible mobile contracts | cloud services | 0330 912 2770 17

DRN celebrates its 100th anniversary - a century of legal excellence!

DRN is celebrating its 100th anniversary, marking a century of the firm’s commitment to Burnley and the surrounding communities. Founded by Mr Donald Race, who acquired two small rooms in a building at 10 Hargreaves Street, it has gradually expanded to premises in Burnley, Colne, and Clitheroe. Formerly a partnership, the company was incorporated in 2013.

DRN’s unwavering commitment to the community and its dedication to providing excellent client care and expertise in personal and business services have earned it a reputation for being a reliable partner in all aspects of legal work. David Lawson, director, remarked, “Reaching our 100th year is a hugely momentous occasion for all at DRN Solicitors. We are incredibly proud of our heritage, the support shown to us by clients and business partners, and the

dedication shown by all staff members over the past century. We have remained committed to our founding principles of expertise, value, honesty and professionalism. Our team work tirelessly to achieve the best outcome for our clients, and this dedication has earned us our fantastic reputation. We understand that many people can feel anxious or confused when seeking legal representation, which is why we are immensely proud to be able to provide empathetic legal advice in a clear, concise, and straightforward manner.”

“Moving forward, we are all about keeping our feet firmly on the ground, staying true to our principles and continuing to support our local communities just like we have done for the last 100 years – here’s to making the next 100 years even better!”

18 News
Directors: David Lawson (centre), Stephen Anderson (left, back) and some of the Burnley team.
19 Efficiency, trust, and care Our people make us who we are; it’s down to their diverse knowledge, experience and individual personalities that make us who we are today. With over 70% of our colleagues living and working within five miles of our Head Office in Padiham, they understand the area and what it means to local businesses to deliver a professional service for our clients. Pallet dispatch services for businesses of all sizes 01282 771983

Six Connections, a Burnley-based mental health organisation, and Moorhouse’s Brewery (who are both Burnley Bondholders) have partnered to craft ‘Ask Twice’, a beer designed to encourage open conversations about mental health.

This initiative pays tribute to the memory of those lost to mental health battles and aims to break the silence and stigma by starting the conversation early, well before it gets to that crisis point.

Founded by Dave Scholes after the loss of his best friend to suicide, Six Connections has grown into a movement that champions the power of conversations. It is an organisation that extends beyond traditional well-being support, fostering a culture whereby lifesaving ‘real talk’ about mental health happens naturally, in relatable spaces, with people who know you best.

Dave said: “‘Ask Twice’ is more than just a beer. It’s a conversation starter, encouraging people to talk about how they are feeling, in the good times as well as the not so good. We all know we need these conversations from time to time, but often don’t start them. Encouraging supportive chat in normal places like the pub, allows everyone to feel more comfortable and support their mates. These conversations will save lives.”

“With the backing of Moorhouse’s Brewery, we are taking our #PoweredByMates message into bars and homes. A trusted product carrying a vital message seems like the perfect connection to us.”

Moorhouse’s Brewery, which has long been a pillar in the Lancashire community, highlights this partnership with Six Connections as being rooted in shared values and a commitment to social responsibility.

Lee Williams, MD of Moorhouse’s added, “We know these

Moorhouse’s Brewery and Six Connections unite to launch

‘Ask Twice’ Beer

conversations can start anywhere, including over a beer, and with Dave’s drive to empower people to get talking, this was just such a natural fit. It’s all about raising awareness – and if just one person is helped through this partnership, it will have been worthwhile.”

‘Ask Twice’ beer is a modern bitter with a 3.8% ABV, rich amber hue, and an inviting taste profile featuring tangy pink grapefruit, dried fruits, and sweet caramel malt.

The beer was available nationally as part of the Wetherspoons Spring Beer Festival in March, leveraging Wetherspoons’ extensive reach to champion the cause of mental health awareness and the vital importance of checking in with one another.

Each bar pump clip, bottle and drip mat featured a QR code that leads to a dedicated online Six Connections support page, offering guidance on starting conversations about this important topic.

The beer also featured at the Wigan Beer Festival from 29th February – 2nd March, and Lancaster Beer Festival from 7th – 9th March, alongside featuring on bars throughout March across the North-West that are supplied by Moorhouse’s. Contributions from each sale will be donated to Six Connections to ensure that together, they can work to beat the stigma surrounding mental health.

Over 40,000 pints went into pubs across the UK and the QR code has had over 700 scans. Six Connections will continue to drive the conversation forward with comedy nights across Lancashire venues, with full details to be announced.

Ask Twice is available to buy from

For more information about Six Connections, visit

20 News

We are a branding & marketing agency working closely with forward-thinking organisations ready to evolve and grow.

Working closely with forward-thinking organisations, we drive brands forward with a powerful mix of creative thinking and insight-based strategy. •

• Marketing We elevate brands
• Websites • Strategy



The finalists of the Burnley Business Awards 2024 have been revealed, after a tough round of shortlisting for the judges.

Businesses in the borough entered in their droves, with the small business categories alone taking a significant proportion of the entries, reflecting our entrepreneurial spirit. Burnley College is the generous headline sponsor of the event and their support has been invaluable in ensuring an incredible evening takes place.

Judges from the category sponsors and independent third parties met at the Holiday Inn Express to whittle down the entries and they decided on the following finalists:

Small Business 0-10 employees

(sponsored by Pursuit Aerospace)

Bandicoot IT | CheckedSafe | Craig Atkinson Removals | E&M Property Solutions | Miro Products | Schofield & Associates Financial Planning | Six Connections | TCB Designs | The Royal Dyche | Participation Works

Small Business 11-49 employees (sponsored by Pursuit Aerospace) +24 Marketing | Ellis's | Financial Affairs | Root Fifty-Two | Scope Fire & Security | The Lawrence Hotel | The Low Carbon Energy Company

Medium Business

50-250 employees

(sponsored by Crow Wood)

AMS Neve Limited | Curantis Healthcare Limited | ESP Play | The Burnley Bus Company

Large Business 250+ employees (sponsored by Charter Walk Shopping Centre)

BCW Group | Crow Wood | EFS Global | Fagan & Whalley | VEKA

International Trade of the Year (sponsored by +24 Marketing)

AMS Neve Limited

Manufacturing Excellence (sponsored by Burnley College) LifeLab Supplements | Safran | VEKA

Innovation (sponsored by SS&C) +24 Marketing | Burnley Leisure & Culture | CheckedSafe

Environmental Excellence (sponsored by Safran)

RecycleIT | Rene K Couture | The Low Carbon Energy Company

Leisure, Tourism and Hospitality (sponsored by Ltd)

Burnley Leisure & Culture - Prairie Sports Village | Crow Wood | Ellis's | The Lawrence | The Palazzo | The Royal Dyche

Employer of the Year (sponsored by Ring Stones) BFC in the Community | Fagan & Whalley | Safran | VEKA

Young Employee of the Year (sponsored by Barnfield Construction)

Sophie Clark - Boohoo Group | Alex Gill - Burnley College | Emily O’Keefe - Calico Homes | Cameron McGuireThe Burnley Bus Company

BURNLEY BUSINESS AWARDS 2024 finalists announced

Lukman Patel, chief executive at Burnley Council, which is organising the event, said: “I know the judges were incredibly impressed by the entries and it was a tough job to whittle down the entries to the finalists. This was especially the case in the small business categories, which were by far our most popular.

“It’s testament to the hard work and resilience of our business community I’d like to thank Burnley businesses for their commitment to raising the prosperity of the borough. And to those who did not make the finals, please do not be disheartened, the volume of entries was high, and we’d certainly encourage you to bring your success stories to us once again at the next Burnley Business Awards. Of course, everyone is still welcome to attend to celebrate the success of their hard-working employees.

“All the best to the finalists and we look forward to celebrating the borough’s determination on the night of the awards.”

The winners will be announced at Burnley’s prestigious sponsorship-funded business awards taking place on the 4th July 2024 at Crow Wood Hotel.

22 News
FAIRYTALE IN NEW YORK DRESS TO IMPRESS WEAR YOUR BEST NEW YORK FANCY DRESS TO WIN A HOLIDAY FOR 2 TO NEW YORK! Friday 6th December | Saturday 7th December | Friday 13th December Saturday 14th December | Friday 20th December | Saturday 21st December £46.50 Tickets NEWYORKAVE. Tickets are selling fast! Please call BURNLEY MECHANICS THEATRE PRESENTS CHRISTMAS PARTIES Mechanics theatre

A first look inside Dovestone Gardens

Burnley’s first extra care facility

Calico Homes has shared CGI footage of inside its new flagship care facility Dovestone Gardens. The £21 million development which is being funded by Homes England will provide 93 apartments predominantly for people over 55 with extra support needs.

The development on Briercliffe Road has already transformed derelict land at Burnley General Hospital and developments are now well underway at the site.

The 4-storey building has 71 x 2 bed apartments and 22 x 1 bed apartments. Dovestone Gardens will have 50 car parking spaces with a mixture of resident and short stay visitor parking. The individual selection process for apartments started earlier this year and be a phased process. More details will be shared on the

selection process in coming months.

The images show an insight into the facilities that will be available onsite including a bistro open to the public. The bistro will also be a community facility for local community groups to meet and undertake activities.

Ring Stones Construction and Maintenance are leading the construction work on behalf of Calico Homes supported by Identity Consult, the project manager and quantity surveyor for the development. The CGI footage has been developed by freelance 3D artist Sam Calvert and the interior design work of Dovestone Gardens has been carried out by Studio Henderson who have worked on development projects across the North West. Dovestone Gardens has been designed by architects, Brock Carmichael.

Customers and local residents have the chance to have their say on the development with monthly consultations where they can register an interest in an apartment and give their feedback.

For more information on the development or to register an interest, please email:

Phil Jones, Director of New Services at The Calico Group: “We’re delighted to show everyone an insight into what Dovestone Gardens will look like and excited to be progressing with the development.

Dovestone Gardens will be a huge boost to the local area in providing much needed care accommodation and we’re proud at Calico to be the deliverer of Burnley’s first extra care facility.”

24 News

Burnley Bondholders is a private-sector led, private/public partnership dedicated to raising the prosperity and profile of the borough; an innovative and successful scheme which has been growing since 2009 and now has over 200 members

In short, it is a consortium of businesses in Burnley that are passionate about the benefits of being based here and where the borough is heading. They share best practice, ideas, suppliers, resources – and no doubt a coffee or two at one of the many networking events we hold throughout the year. Likewise, we support our bondholders through PR, marketing materials, networking events and trade visits

The success of Burnley Bondholders has attracted attention across the UK from the press, local authorities and business leaders. We are proud that 15 years later, we are still leading the way stronger together. Why not join us?

Find out more:

Feature : Fleming & Howland


The family business exporting luxury furniture across the globe.

With a rich history dating back to 1780 it’s no surprise that Fleming & Howland is a well-respected and trustworthy manufacturer of Chesterfield furniture. What might not be expected is that this luxury product is upholstered right here in Burnley, before being shipped to buyers across the globe.

With a world-renowned reputation it’s surprising that many locals may not be aware that it is on our doorstep; this is down to Fleming & Howland operating as an exclusive directto-consumer business. During the 1980s the company supplied high street stores, however when Paul Fleming took over the business 20 years ago, he decided it was time to move away from high volume production and place more focus on the luxury market. This change in philosophy has helped the business to focus on producing furniture of the highest quality.

“I wanted to understand our customers better and to do this I felt we would benefit from selling directly to them. Focusing on a smaller customer base also gave us the opportunity to improve the way we make furniture,” explains Paul.

Fleming & Howland’s centuries-old heritage and long-term commitment to quality was acknowledged in 2009 when it was granted the rights to use the Chesterfield logo as a trademark. In 2023 the company’s status in the luxury field was further recognised when it became a member of Walpole, the official sector body for UK Luxury, joining esteemed brands such as Harrods and Rolls Royce.

Having moved to Bridgewater Close in Burnley ten years ago, Paul is proud to be part of the borough’s rich manufacturing history: “It’s great that such a quality product is coming out of Burnley, we are extremely proud to be based here. Our employees are predominantly from

“The classic design of our furniture means that the pieces transcend trends and will be nurtured and enjoyed for years to come. We are committed to expanding the servicing and reconditioning of existing furniture through a global circular outlet programme...”

the local area, and we work closely with Burnley College to take on apprentices each year.”

It takes up to ten years to become a senior upholstery and learn the deep buttoning technique, which is needed to make Chesterfields, with all training carried out in-house. It is this level of craftmanship and attention to detail which makes Fleming & Howland the go-to brand for those looking for high-end furniture.

“All our furniture is bespoke and made to our customer’s requirements. We have customers from around the world come and visit the factory and showroom which helps us understand more about what they want from each piece,” says Paul with pride. “It’s this focus on the customer which I believe makes us stand out.”

The company produces a small number of beds, sofas, chairs and footstools each year with customers based as far and wide as the France, Germany, the United States and the Far East. Rather

than encouraging customers to buy the maximum number of products the focus is on encouraging them to buy the right product for them so that they will love and appreciate it for years to come. And, while the final product will travel thousands of miles to reach its new home the company uses as many locally sourced materials as possible.

“The classic design of our furniture means that the pieces transcend trends and will be nurtured and enjoyed for years to come. We are committed to expanding the servicing and reconditioning of existing furniture through a global circular outlet programme. Furniture that we produced 30 years ago is often being repaired to last a further 30 years, a system that can only be achieved by adopting a legacy business model,” says Paul. This commitment to sustainability has seen Fleming & Howland gain environmental, social, and governance certification through the organisation Positive Luxury.


The story of Bandicoot

You have probably driven past Fern Bank near Scott Park in Burnley dozens if not hundreds of times, and not realised who is now housed inside the former children’s home.

That would be Bandicoot, the managed IT services support company that was established back in 2004, although it didn’t move into the impressive period property until 2016.

Bandicoot was founded 20 years ago by Stuart Bowen, who was working for an internet service provider when they were bought out and started to make redundancies. Stuart was the last man standing and was single-handedly running the hosting operation. However, he had a lightbulb moment and realised that it would be much more productive if he was to

become a contractor – and so he made the jump and ended up being contracted back to his former employer; the move paid off.

It marked the beginning of Bandicoot, but the new business had something of a dramatic day one – Stuart’s wife Anna, who was working in HR at the time, found out she was pregnant with their son Jamie.

“Let’s just say, I did have a slight wobble when I realised I had to make Bandicoot work – there’s nothing like a child on the way to give you the drive to make a success of things. And it turns out I had nothing to worry about. In the

first five years I had secured over 80 contracts, including Banks and Lloyd, an international logistics client who is still with us 20 years later,” Stuart says.

Stuart spent ten years working solo, with his office being the spare room, before moving into an office in Bacup. The family didn’t have an overseas holiday for all of that time and Stuart was on call 24/7 to assist clients – “I even took calls cooking Christmas dinner and when Anna was in labour”.

And then came Tom

Stuart realised that if he wanted to a) keep his sanity and b) grow Bandicoot, he needed to employ someone – and that person was operations manager Tom, who started as an apprentice ten years ago and plays a key role in their success.

The couple were keen to have bigger outdoors space, so they moved their family home from Bacup to Burnley after finding the perfect property. Bandicoot followed suit, gaining an office at Northbridge, before they spotted that Fern Bank was on the market. They acquired it in 2015 and renovated for a full year – and that’s when Anna progressed further into the business.

Feature : Xxxx
28 News Feature : Bandicoot

“I’d always done the administration – things like paperwork, HR and finances –alongside my job as a HR consultant. But I fully joined the business in 2015 to manage the year-long renovation and it was honestly one of the most difficult years of my life. I think I had dust in my hair for a solid 12 months.

“We spent a lot of money and care renovating and opened it as both our office and a business centre for tenants in 2016. I then took the title of HR and Marketing Manager, but I also do a lot of business development, including joining the Burnley Bondholders in 2019,” Anna explains.

Whilst Fern Bank was a thriving business hub, the pandemic saw many clients decide to work from home full time. There are still a couple of tenants upstairs, but it has left Bandicoot with plenty of space to expand, which is part of their plans.

Son Jamie is an IT technician at Bandicoot, whilst John is a fellow IT technician. Oscar is also currently at the company as an IT apprentice.

Stuart stated: “It’s a vast building and we can definitely accommodate many more employees; we want to grow and we’re passionate about the advantages of

apprenticeships. We’ve had a bit of a move around and have ear-marked the ideal space for a pool table – it’s important we get away from sitting down in what is a desk-based job.”

Indeed, many of their increasing contracts include fellow bondholders such as Woodland Assist, Kneeshaws, Grow Traffic and E & M Property Solutions.

Are Stuart and Anna pleased they moved their family and business to Burnley?

“Definitely. We love Burnley. It has a strong economy, it’s enterprising and you can see the investment being put into it. The bondholder network is also like no other; there’s such a good atmosphere in the room and we get to enjoy some really insightful events and discover other likeminded businesses that we may not come across otherwise. We’re committed to Burnley for the Bandicoot journey,” they answer.

It’s always great to see an unused property

brought back to life and a Burnley business with its eye on growth.


 Green Rose – implementing an Environmental Management System to manage and reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

 Destination Net Zero Mach II – What is a carbon footprint and how to calculate it.

 B Corp Master Class

CHAMBER LOW CARBON ARE HERE TO HELP Funded by BURNLEY COUNCIL via HM GOVERNMENT’S UK SHARED PROSPERITY FUND the team based at EAST LANCASHIRE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE can help you reduce costs, start and guide you through your NET ZERO JOURNEY and enhance your reputation and standing with a range of fully funded products and services. Visit: Call: 01234 356487 | Email:
SERVICES INCLUDE:  On-Site Support  Calculating your Greenhouse Gas Emissions  Setting a Net Zero Target  Carbon Reduction Plans and Opportunity Reviews


Burnley-based Lancashire Textiles have revealed an exciting new addition to its bedding range – British Wool. The development is part of the businesses’ drive to use more naturally sourced products as Joe McBride, managing director explains: “Being proud members of the ‘Made In Britain’ network, we are always striving to bring the manufacture of more products in-house. Last year we introduced feathers into our production and are now keen to develop more natural product lines. We have found consumers are looking to source products that have the benefits of adding to their wellness and are sustainable. Fabrics such as cotton are increasing in demand as well as natural fills such as feather and of course wool!”

In the past year sales for natural products make up 21 per cent of Lancashire Textiles business to consumer sales, increasing from 12 per cent in 2022-2023.

Earlier this year in their quest to source the perfect wool, Joe and co-director Joanna visited the largest wool scouring plant in Yorkshire where wool from all over the UK is brought to be cleaned and washed to remove lanolin (grease), dirt and other material then dried ready for various uses.

Lancashire Textiles have launched the range with a line of pillows and are currently developing a dedicated zone within their 55,0000 sq ft space to accommodate the production of duvets, mattress toppers and cushion pads. The company has now secured its first order with a major retailer for their British Wool range of pillows.



Joe says: “Wool has many benefits that make it the perfect choice for pillows, duvets and mattress toppers. The hypoallergenic nature of the material means it does not promote the growth of bacteria or hold dust making it perfect for bedding. It is odour resistant, absorbing sweat and releasing it before bacteria has a chance to develop and produce bad odours. It is also breathable, when tightly packed the fibres form tiny pockets of air allowing it to absorb and release moisture and breathe.

“Wool naturally reacts to changes in body temperature and environment so when used in bedding and pillows will keep the user cool in summer and snuggly in winter. It has high water and nitrogen content making it naturally flame-retardant and has a very high ignition threshold. There are also some fantastic environmental benefits. Wool can be returned to the earth to decompose and release nutrients back into the ground in as little as three to four months. A regular synthetic pillow can take approximately 200 years. Each year sheep will produce a new fleece making wool a naturally renewable source.”

The use of wool has been backed by King Charles who has been the patron of the Campaign for Wool, a global initiative to promote the use of wool, since 2010.

Lancashire Textiles is based at Cameron Mill which was built in the 1890s for cotton manufacture and in later years was home to the Pendelfin factory, a well-known figurine manufacturer in the borough.

Lancashire Textiles took residence at the mill in 2003 and have been manufacturing fabrics and fibres for both the consumer and trade ever since. You’ll find Lancashire Textiles duvets, pillows and more in hotels, high street stores and online shops both under their own brand and white label for other brands.




As a NICEIC registered company ISO 9001 certified Quality Management System.
33 33 Speakman Contractors Ltd | 01282 415 864 | Unit 4 Caroline Court | Billington Road | Burnley | Lancashire | BB11 5UB From construction to completion We offer a fully integrated, cost-effective service. With over 15 years experience our team of in-house experts provide quality services from construction and maintenance to electrical and solar panels installations.

FROM >SOUTH AMERICA >LONDON>BURNLEY; the journey of Woodland Assist Global

Walking down Manchester Rd in Burnley, you might not notice the unassuming business front nestled in between Duckworths and Reeds Rains estate agents.

But behind the shop front lies something of a Burnley stalwart – Woodland Assist Global.

Husband and wife team Andy and Jacqueline Woodland have built up the business and personal immigration organisation since 2015, when Jacqueline was a self-employed contractor and a valued employee for London firms. The couple were living in Hampshire when Andy retired in 2016 and they decided to have a change of lifestyle and move to Burnley.

“My family actually lived in Burnley; my father, a welder, made canal boats. My family are originally from Guyana in South America. We sold everything in Hampshire and made the move, although I did have to commute to London for the first two years,” Jacqueline told

It was this move that sparked an idea to also set up another business in town – an Afro-Caribbean hair salon, as there were none in Burnley and Jacqueline would travel into Manchester for her hair appointments.

After speaking to local property developer Ian Walker who had just purchased the old The Burnley Express building on Bull Street, the businessminded couple opened both April Salon

in 2017 and Woodland Assist Global in 2018 and continued doing work for their London clients who required immigration support. They also joined the Burnley Bondholders after Ian recommended it to them, which is fantastic to hear.

The pair are the first to admit that they were too complacent with London contracts, so when they naturally came to an end in 2018, they made a real effort to get to know the thriving business community around them, with which the bondholders assisted.

Andy continued: “We realised what amazing company we were in in Burnley and the business went from strength to strength. Egle joined the team in 2018, followed by Vytaute in 2021 and Chloe in 2023. Jacqueline’s granddaughter Tia is also on work experience with us at the moment. We’re very passionate about taking on work experience placements, it’s really important to us.”

Unfortunately, the pandemic and its aftermath saw April Salon close, and the pair decided to downsize their space and move into their current home on Manchester Road.

Assist Global
: Woodland


Woodland Assist Global partner with businesses in all sectors who may need to bring talent from overseas to complement the resource they have within the UK. The process can be complex, and the company deals with it all for them.

It’s varied; as we were speaking, Egle was in the process of securing the visas for a film crew who needed to come to the UK to make a production, whilst they’ve also worked with big local names such as Burnley FCIC, and the Prince’s Trust in partnership with Lancashire Fire and Rescue.

Their town centre position means they often get walk-ins, something they encourage.

After Woodland Assist Global grew, Andy explained that they were seeing demand for support with headhunting, relocation accommodation, and travel arrangements; Woodland Global Logistics was born to provide those services.

It’s clear they take pride in the work they and their team do.

“We are currently working with a Nigerian couple; the wife is highly qualified in HR in Nigeria, but her qualifications are not recognised here. She took a lower-level job so she could start earning, and we are providing some support in whilst she manages her journey to a role she will truly enjoy.

“We are also supporting a skilled worker (a ‘walk in’) in the health and social care sector to obtain another role as the UK sponsor she was recruited by no longer can sponsor migrant workers from abroad. They have young children and if she doesn’t find another job within 60 days they will have to leave the UK. They really want to contribute to UK life, so we’re determined to help,” Andy said.

It’s great to hear that Jacqueline and Andy have pivoted when required, have grown the team and also work with Burnley Bondholders. Fellow bondholders Cube HR looks after their HR and Bandicoot their IT.


Interestingly, we learnt that the small country of Guyana with less than

800,000 people is experiencing an oil boom after it was discovered, taking it to become the highest oil producer in the world per head count.

The country is in need of more talent to help it with the incredible growth it is witnessing as a result, such as new international schools, a power station, nine new hospitals and 4,000 km of road improvements. Utilising her local knowledge and connections from her home country, Jacqueline, having just returned from Guyana in January, is planning to get involved with helping Guyana where she can in immigration, resourcing, and customer service training. These are challenges she has not only heard about but seen and experienced firsthand on her latest visit and so as a member of the Guyana UK Diaspora, is determined to contribute skills and experience, to ensure they can fully embrace their new-found resources and be a proud of how they have come as a nation.

It’s amazing to think that a Burnley business is helping a country so far away!

Andy & Jacqueline Woodland Vytaute Sliaupaite, Egle Vaiciunaite, Jacqueline Woodland (Owner), Tia Reid, Chloe Wallace



Last year alone, almost three million golf balls were hit at the borough’s first purpose-built driving range with its 16 floodlit bays and Toptracer Range technology, making it the ideal location for learning the sport or honing your technique.

But Prairie Sports Village is much more than a driving range. Golfers and visitors alike can enjoy the first-class food and hospitality in 1955 Kitchen & Bar, where you can relax with a drink, snack, or even a three-course meal while enjoying panoramic views of nearby Pendle Hill.

Run by Burnley Leisure and Culture (BLC), the Prairie also sports two great conference and events rooms, bespoke facilities for work and business meetings, receptions, and private parties.

Topping off the perfect venue is the fact that every penny made at BLC’s facilities is re-invested into the borough to support projects including cardiac rehabilitation, providing swimming lessons for children, and supporting education and physical activity programmes in schools.



Toptracer Range shot tracing technology is changing the trajectory of golf – literally! It has transformed how we watch golf on TV by showing the flight of the ball and the same technology is being used to aid how we practice golf at the driving range.

It provides valuable shot insights like how far, how fast, and (for some novices) where the shot actually went. This gamification of the driving range experience is introducing golf to a new generation of players and bringing people together in fun and meaningful ways.

The Toptracer Range at Prairie Sports Village is ideal for regular golfers working on their technique or those picking up a golf club for the first time.

It is the perfect chance to entertain clients and/or colleagues in a fun and competitive way and our all-inclusive packages include game play, food, drinks, and a dedicated member of staff to make sure everything goes with a swing.

Prices start from £8.50 and the fun includes longest-drive, closest to the pin, or even catching a shark with a golf ball!

You can discover more about our Toptracer packages by sending your enquiry to


Our 1955 Kitchen & Bar is ideal for work, play, or relaxing with business contacts, colleagues, family, or friends.

The extensive menu features nibbles and starters, hot main courses, hot and cold sandwiches, desserts, and children’s options too.

Our bar serves draught and bottled beer, alcohol-free beer, spirits, wines, and fizz, as well as hot drinks and soft drinks

All our used cooking oil is carefully collected from all BLC hospitality kitchens and turned into green energy and biodiesel.


Our bespoke conferencing and events facilities, which include meeting rooms and suites, feature complimentary wi-fi. They are fully accessible, with accessible toilets.

There’s free parking, including disabled parking and parent and child spaces.

And if it’s not work but play you’re thinking about, our venue is available to hire for birthday parties, wedding receptions, christenings, and baby showers.


Burnley Leisure & Culture’s £2.5 million facility designed to offer a premier sporting and hospitality experience to all.

16 bay Toptracer Range

Mini golf and short game area

Conference and meeting rooms available for hire

Elite Golf Performance academy

Golf Shop and Bar

1955 Kitchen & Bar

Two FA accredited 3G football pitches and changing facilities

Sky Sports, TNT Sports Tel: 01282 664444

From painter & decorator to the director of an awardwinning lettings agency

IFyou’re ever at the lights on the corner of Manchester Road and Finsley Gate in Burnley, you may have noticed a beautiful building looking a little unloved. Well, not for much longer, as Burnley businesswoman Tina Etherington has secured 58-62 Manchester Road and 3-5 Saunder Bank with her investment partner Ryan Morgan, and the team is well underway with turning it into E&M Property Solutions’ new office, as well as several other commercial units and four large family apartments.

Tina Etherington is best known for her role as managing director of Burnley Bondholder E&M Property Solutions, which is one of the leading property lettings and management companies in the borough.

“I’ve driven past 58-62 Manchester Road thousands of times and it’s been rotting away before my eyes. It was once a beautiful building and the proportions inside are really impressive, as older buildings often are. When it came to market, I couldn’t let the opportunity pass me by,” Tina said.

Indeed, when she showed us photos of the inside, the condition is sadly in a bad way, complete with missing floors, countless structural issues and growing trees!

However, the artist impression of what the finished product will look like is inspiring – it’s no wonder Tina wants to relocate the office of E&M Property Solutions here.

Always the entrepreneur, she went from painting properties to successfully managing them.

“I actually used to be a painter and decorator and tiler, so I’ve always had a trade and property development background. I progressed to establishing Tec North West, a now successful refurbishment and building company. I was often asked if I’d manage rental properties for investors that I worked with as they knew I managed my own portfolio. I thought it sounded interesting and said I’d help out.

“I quickly learnt that the property management industry was poles apart from self-management of my own portfolio. Not being one to shy away from a challenge I got to work getting qualified and joining a regulatory body,” Tina explained.

Before she knew it, she was taking on more and more properties and E&M Property Solutions was born in 2017.

Feature : xxxxxx Feature : E&M Property Solutions

Why does Tina think she’s experienced such growth?

“E&M Property Solutions has seen amazing growth, and there are several good reasons for this. One big reason is our experience. Since I’m an investor too, I know exactly what investors are looking for in property management. This experience guides us in offering the best services. Speaking of services, we offer a lot more than just the usual sales and letting. Our offerings include HMOs, long and short-term lets, refurbishments, conversions, and even property sourcing, just to name a few.

“Another reason for our success is how well we know the local area. This knowledge is key because it lets us give great advice and find the best opportunities for our clients. We’re also all about going the extra mile. Whatever our clients need, we’re there to help.”

E&M Property Solutions’ is also passionate about working with the local community and partners. They work closely with Burnley Borough Council and the Selective Licence team, bringing derelict and unused properties back to life which can be eyesores and become magnets for anti-social behaviour.

“I fully support the objectives of the Selective Licence. I believe it’s made a significant positive impact, helping to transform struggling areas into thriving communities. Through our partnership with the council, we’re able to have a direct hand in these improvements. Whether it’s refurbishing an old building or helping to manage a newly renovated property, we’re on the front lines, contributing to the revitalization of our local area,” Tina explains.

She concludes: “Lastly, none of this would be possible without our amazing team. They’re the real stars behind our growth. Together, these elements have powered our success and helped us stand out in the property management business.”

“Another reason for our success is how well we know the local area. This knowledge is key because it lets us give great advice and find the best opportunities for our clients. We’re also all about going the extra mile. Whatever our clients need, we’re there to help.”

EXCITING Announcement

You’ll be able to view our timetables, book and manage your activities, and much more with the new Burnley Leisure & Culture app! Keep an eye out for more details coming soon.



In the last issue we focused on some of Burnley’s business stalwarts who have helped to pave the way for the next generation of entrepreneurs. In this issue we take a look at just a handful of the talented young people ready to take the reins.

But what is it about Burnley that produces such inspiring young people? Well, we are lucky to have a thriving and supportive business communitythe Burnley Bondholders have invested in the Future Leaders programme (more on that later). We also have a diverse array of sectors on our doorstep for young people to work in. Where we were once known mainly for our manufacturing and textiles heritage, this continues to evolve with new and exciting businesses setting up, and relocating to the borough.

Having Burnley College and UCLan on our doorstep also has to be a key factor. The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has been growing in Burnley for over a decade now, with plans for more expansion in the coming years. Burnley College, has been number one in the government’s national achievement rate tables for learners aged 16-18 for two years running, and has an impeccable standard for education in many other areas.

The presence of a thriving college and university campus means that Burnley residents no longer need to look beyond the borough’s borders for higher education should it be logistically or financially better for them to study closer to home. Many bright minds from Burnley have often left to the big cities such as Manchester, Leeds or Liverpool to attain their degree, however with UCLan’s expansion, the borough can retain its talent and nurture the next generation of highly- educated professionals at home.

In Focus


The very first Future Leaders cohort graduated from the programme in spring 2024 after a successful 12 months.

Ten under 30s from Burnley Bondholders celebrated their achievements at a “graduation” ceremony held at Impact Conferencing. The Future Leaders initiative is a 12-month personal and professional development programme that is generously funded by the Burnley Bondholders. It challenges and develops participants both personally and professionally in a safe and welcoming environment with fellow young people working in Burnley.

Participants take part in monthly sessions, away days, social value projects and 1-2-1 coaching. The finale saw the Future Leaders celebrate in the House of Lords in May, hosted by Lord Wajid Khan of Burnley.

The purpose of the programme is to instil passion and pride in our future leaders about working and living in Burnley, helping to retain their talent in the borough and take their new skills and experience to their employer with fresh ideas and ways of working. The programme is hosted at UCLan’s innovative Victoria Mill campus, with the university partnering with the bondholders for this initiative.

Feature :
In Focus : Future Leaders Programme
Crystal Ellerton //Burnley Leisure & Culture Alex Gutman //Root Fifty-Two Paul Cooper //Viva PR
We spoke to some of the programme’s first cohort to find out how they found it..

Why did you decide to join the Future Leaders programme?

I joined the Future Leaders Programme because I felt like my career progression had come to a holt and sort of flatlined once I’d become head distiller at Batch. I thought that was as good as it gets so when the opportunity came along for Future Leaders I just had a gut feeling that it was a great opportunity worth taking. It could have been a complete waste of time but sometimes you have to take that risk to find the gems.

What were you expecting and how did the reality differ?

To begin with I really didn’t know what to expect which made me a little anxious. I was nervous that I wouldn’t belong on the course and that everyone else would be much smarter than me. In reality I met a great range of people who all have the same ambition to suceed and that was enough to make me feel comfortable and very quickly make friends.

What was your personal highlight?

My personal highlight has to be the speakers that came in to talk to us all and tell their story or give their advice. I also loved the fact that we got to choose which subjects we wanted to hear about. I always find myself fascinated by personal stories from motivational speakers. It gives me motivation that nothing else can.

What was the biggest challenge?

I feel like the biggest challenge all in all was time management, having to balance work, Future Leaders sessions and tasks for home, family time and rest time which was difficult to begin with but in the end it worked itself out and became easier. It was worth the challenge in the end.

Any advice for those considering applying?

Make sure you turn up to every session because it’s not only important for yourself but for the team around you. If you apply and you’re accepted don’t then beat yourself up about

it because you’re nervous like I did. You’re there because you deserve to be, you were accepted because people see the potential in you so apply yourself and give it your all. At first you may think you’re not getting much from the course, struggling to understand why you’re doing what you’re doing but by the end it will all make sense and believe in the process.

What personal/professional successes have your enjoyed in the last 12 months that you think the programme played a key role in?

I feel like the project played a key role in further selfdevelopment. It reignited the spark to go to the next level; I’m currently going through directorship at the distillery which is a big, exciting step. Future Leaders also gave me the confidence to take a big step and set up my own company and start a venture of my own creating my own brand in the world of supplements.

Ryan Evans //Batch Distillery

Feature : Xxxx In Focus : Future Leaders Programme


Why did you decide to join the Future Leaders programme?

I applied because I’ve always been ambitious and so my career matters a great deal to me. I saw the Future Leaders Programme as something that would give me the tools for when I am managing my own team or even with the way I manage my clients. I’m also always looking to expand my network and meet new people.

What were you expecting and how did the reality differ?

I didn’t really know what to expect. I’m very much a girl that says yes to things in my career and worries about the logistics afterwards. The reality was that it wasn’t just applicable to my career, but also my personal life.

What was your personal highlight?

My highlight was meeting a group of like-minded ambitious individuals. It’s been great to expand my professional network as well as my personal one!

What was the biggest challenge?

Allowing myself to be vulnerable with a group (of what were) strangers.

Any advice for those considering applying?

Make sure you can fully commit to it as it does zap into your outof-work hours (with the sessions being after 5pm) Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone will allow you to grow. Just go for it!

What personal/professional successes have your enjoyed in the last 12 months that you think the programme played a key role in?

In the past 12 months, I feel my confidence has grown professionally. Not only actively taking on more responsibilities within my role, but getting more involved with strategic elements of the business and helping to drive the firm forward.

Why did you decide to join the Future Leaders programme?

I’d never seen a programme like this, where it is supported and paid for by the Burnley Bondholders yet was so focused on the next generation of Future Leaders - I just had to be a part of it!

What were you expecting and how did the reality differ?

From the programme name and style, I was expecting it to just be “this is how to lead” but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Emotional intelligence, selfreflection, vulnerability and knowing learning styles and perspectives were just a fraction of the course, a real deep dive into what a leader is.

What was your personal highlight?

The network of friendships that had been created. We have already started working in collaborations together on various professional projects between businesses.

What was the biggest challenge?

For me it was the vulnerability side, I really struggled to open up at the start of the programme, especially when I was going through a lot in my professional and personal life at the time, but after a couple of sessions with the group, it became second nature.

Any advice for those considering applying? Be open, be honest and apply!

What personal/professional successes have your enjoyed in the last 12 months that you think the programme played a key role in?

Well, I’m now the director of my own aerospace and motorsport engineering company; I’m also a Burnley Bondholder too! I always wanted to go this route but was scared to make the jump or had the confidence in myself that I could make it work. The programme taught me that it’s okay to go into the unknown.

Robinson //AKORN Legal
Austin Berry //A Berry Engineering

Why did you decide to join the Future Leaders programme?

Personal development and the chance to meet like-minded people.

What were you expecting and how did the reality differ?

It was hard to envisage how the course would go from the outset. Usually, these things have previous versions where you get to hear personal experiences, so with us being the first cohort I did wonder how it would go and the level of work that would be involved in participating. The reality is that it was more time-consuming than expected, and the project took longer than thought, however it was all worth the effort put in in the end and the things you can take away are invaluable.

What was your personal highlight?

I have taken things we’ve learnt from the course and implemented them in work, however for me the main thing was building a network with like-minded people, along with knowing my confidence has improved considerably from this time last year. I feel more positive in my role and the course has helped with that.

What was the biggest challenge?

Getting the project over the line! The scope was so high level that it was hard to target a project. We got there in the end and I’m glad we did the project we did, but it was certainly the hardest part to deliver.

Any advice for those considering applying?

Ensure you’re committed to the programme; ensure you have ambition and are a person who is open to sharing your challenges with others to fuel your own development and learning.

What personal/professional successes have your enjoyed in the last 12 months that you think the programme played a key role in?

I think it’s hard to say pinpoint anything directly to the programme itself, however the combination of support from Gina along with my colleagues at work and family at home have helped me deliver a few success stories this year. The project at Down Town has to be up there given the money raised and this wouldn’t have been possible without the programme. I got promoted to manager in July, I have delivered external presentations for the first time in the period on technical topics and I network much more than I used to. I think the course has been a factor in developing leadership skills and confidence, which in turn helps progress in my career.

Why did you decide to join the Future Leaders programme? To mature professionally and grow a network of like-minded young professionals.

What were you expecting and how did the reality differ?

I expected a basic level of showing what a future leader looks like, however it was very in-depth and delved into a lot more psychology-based learning.

What was your personal highlight?

The knowledge I have gained on how to communicate and interact with people.

What was the biggest challenge?

Taking everything in and then remembering to apply the learnings in real-life situations both in and out of work.

Any advice for those considering applying?

Just do it - the benefits are worth it t and you’ll make new friends. What personal/professional successes have your enjoyed in the last 12 months that you think the programme played a key role in?

Developing my interpersonal skills and confidence to now starting to manage a small portfolio of customers on my own.

Andrew Kirkaldy //PM+M
Rebecca Brown //Handelsbanken

Feature : Xxxx In Focus : Future Leaders Programme

Why did you decide to join the Future Leaders programme?

I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone and invest some time into myself to help my future career. I felt that sometimes it’s easy to get bogged down with your day-today job and not make time for progression and learning. The course was ideal as it was predominantly in the evening, which allowed me to juggle alongside working full time. I also wanted to meet like-minded people, who could all help and support one another. What were you expecting and how did the reality differ?

I didn’t expect the course to be in such depth, and mentally challenging, and in particular to push me out of my comfort zone like it did. These are all positive aspects however and added to the real feeling of achievement and success on completing the course.

What was your personal highlight?

I feel like I have many highlights from the course, but the biggest one was presenting at the ten-year anniversary Burnley Bondholder event of Burnley being named most enterprising area in the country. This really pushed me out of my comfort zone, and challenged me in so many ways, but the feeling of achievement was amazing. It felt an honour and privilege to be a part of such a brilliant event, and to celebrate the bondholders’ success over the last decade. What was your biggest challenge?

I think for me the biggest challenge was the final project, due to the large amount of time needed to successfully complete an event that was both meeting the brief and giving back to the community. This took a lot of planning, teamwork and good time keeping, all skills I feel like this programme has helped with. It was great to work with such a brilliant team, giving us a real sense of achievement at the end. Any advice for those considering applying?

Go for it! There will be lots of elements which you will be able to apply in both professional work and personal life to enhance your skills and confidence. The course is so interesting and engaging, but you need to be able to fully invest your time and commitment to get the most out of it for both yourself and others on the course. You really will get out what you put in.

What personal/professional successes have your enjoyed in the last 12 months that you think the programme played a key role in?

Professionally I presented as a guest speaker at an industry conference last October, which is something I feel I would have not been confident to take part in had it not been for the course. In my personal life I had a baby whilst still completing the programme, and I think the course helped me overcome the challenges that this brought by developing my resilience and determination.

Why did you decide to join the Future Leaders programme?

I decided to join the programme as an opportunity to learn new skill sets, as well develop and expand my networking within the business community in Burnley.

What were you expecting and how did the reality differ?

I expected the course to be academic/theoretical in nature, which some of the content is, but the programme was very interactive and engaging, a lot more than I expected.

What was your personal highlight?

My personal highlight from the programme was the direct personal and professional development I achieved from the programme content.

What was the biggest challenge?

My biggest challenge was juggling the twilight session with work due to my long commute home and early starts at work, I had little to no time in my evenings. However, this was only once per month.

Any advice for those considering applying?

Know what you want to get from the programme before applying. Be prepared to actively apply your learnings in your personal life and professional career. Ensure you have the capacity not only to attend the programme but to also complete the homework

What personal/professional successes have your enjoyed in the last 12 months that you think the programme played a key role in?

The learnings from the programme have had a direct impact on my personal development, which opened my eyes to various topics I would not normally have been exposed to such as emotional intelligence, effective communication, coaching and mentoring.

Olivia Fagan //Fagan & Whalley

In Focus : Future Leaders Programme

Gina Cole
//Goal Centred Development Ltd

Gina Cole, founder of Goal Centred Development Ltd, who delivered the programme for the Future Leaders:

“When I saw the tender for the programme delivery for Future Leaders, my interest was immediately piqued. I have a passion for Burnley and leader development, so it seemed the perfect way to combine the two. I was delighted when I was selected as the preferred supplier and saw it as a fantastic opportunity to get involved with businesses in Burnley and also make an impact early on in the careers of young leaders. It’s

really important to retain talent where



manage succession – it's a real value of mine.

“The Future Leaders is also a really unique concept that I’d not seen anywhere else. It’s unusual for the private sector to collaborate on this level, especially because you could have a “rival” on the programme at the same time as your employee. But we all have a responsibility to co-create the leaders of the future and it’s clear there is a sense of placebased pride in Burnley.

“What we have in essence is a group of young professionals who are enthusiastic, committed and inspirational, role modelling what we need in the future. They’ve really bonded during the ups and downs of the programme and I know they pick up the phone to support one another, even though cohort one has completed.

“It was this impact I witnessed with cohort one that made me want to be involved with cohort two. We’re only just starting this journey; we know what worked and what needs to be tweaked. That is what is innovative about the delivery of Future Leaders; the structure of the programme is there, but we take an organic approach because every cohort will be different. We need to match the content to who is in the room.”

Are there any key learnings for Gina?

“I think we need to introduce the social value project earlier. They always knew it was coming, and of course they needed to do some learning first, but the wide brief caused a lot of frustration. This is good; they needed to overcome these frustrations and learn how to create a strategy with no clear guidance or idea handed on a plate. Introducing this earlier would have perhaps given them more time to work through the process.”


In Focus : Future Leaders Programme

We believe the Future Leaders programme, in collaboration with UCLan and the Burnley Bondholders, is the first of its kind. It is fully funded by the bondholders and has already proven to be a game-changernot just for those on the programme, but also for the businesses involved.

Dharma Kovvuri, dean of UCLan Burnley, commented: “We believe the Future Leaders programme, in collaboration with UCLan and the Burnley Bondholders, is the first of its kind. It is fully funded by the bondholders and has already proven to be a game-changer - not just for those on the programme, but also for the businesses involved. The participants were supported by their line managers when applying and the skills they learn can be used within their businesses, for the benefit of their businesses.

“UCLan is proud to provide the Burnley campus at Victoria Mill as the innovative space for learning. We know the Future Leaders programme will connect our talented young people and develop and retain their talent within the borough, equipping them with the passion, skills, and contacts to become our next generation of leaders.

“Our Burnley campus already has a growing number of undergraduate, postgraduate and degree apprenticeship courses in business, management, accounting, computing and digital marketing, so it will be great to welcome this cohort of inspiring young leaders into our student community as we continue to support in the up-skilling of talent in East Lancashire.”

Applications for the second cohort opened in April and closed in May, with interviews scheduled for June and the programme to commence in September.


In Focus : Amy Duncan


MYname’s Amy Duncan

I’m a solicitor in our corporate team here at Farleys in Burnley. I went to university to study law, and at the time you could only go to the big city so I had to travel all the way to Liverpool. I know that now times have changed and you can study law degrees right here in Burnley. We’ve had lots of work experience students come into our Burnley office which has made them realise that they don’t have to travel to big cities to qualify or even to study law. A lot of my friends have been shocked at how I can work at such a great firm but right here in Burnley. I know that they spend a fortune on parking and just going out into Manchester for dinners can cost a lot, whereas here we love going out into the town places like The Mechanics across the road. There are also places like Little Barista and The Palazzo, that are big city quality but a fraction of the price.

My school was quite local to Burnley, and we did a law club in year nine so I must have been about 14. We got to go to a court and see a real life setting and then from there I wanted to do some work experience. Obviously, I couldn’t drive so I looked into the local bus route. We’ve got great transport here in Burnley and I found Farleys so I used to get the bus there for two weeks in the summer and then went there every year from year nine to about just after university.

I’ve actually done work experience in a big city firm, and I don’t think I even met any of the partners whereas here all of the partners know my name. If I walk past them in the street or in the office they’ll all say hello, checking how am I doing. Even senior members of staff are always interested in what I’m doing and how they can help. You just would never get that in a big city firm.

I think a full circle moment for

me was when I was training in the commercial department and sold a house for a guy that ran one of the clubs I went to when I was younger. Farleys as a firm has been part of the Burnley Bondholders scheme for quite a while now so I’ve been to a couple of the bondholder events which was were amazing and lovely to see such a selection of businesses.

The events for younger bondholders are a lot less daunting because everybody is a similar age and they’re really trying to bring up the leaders of the future. Its been great because I haven’t found anything

else like that. We do try and do quite a lot of networking things and it’s great for younger people at the same level with the same aspirations to bounce ideas off each other and get to know people in the area. Having a local office here in Burnley is absolutely invaluable because a lot of people prefer to see somebody face to face and get a real person to speak to. We have had a few people just walk in and say look I’ve got this problem, can you help? With us being in the centre it’s more convenient for them to come in. It’s just that more personal approach they know that people here are local and they’re happy to help.

Feature : Xxxx
53 Running
straightforward... ...but
believe the law should be.
a business is rarely
Making sense of commercial law since 1958. Farleys, proudly supporting business and enterprise in Burnley with down-to-earth legal advice. Our specialists can advise on: - Business disputes - Business sales and acquisitions - Commercial contracts - Commercial property - Company formation & start up - Corporate law - Debt recovery - Employment law & HR - Fraud & business crime - Licensing - Insolvency
Xxxx In
: HDW Marketing 54

The 21-year-old marketer who’s already taking the business world by storm

At just 21 years old Harvey Wilkinson has already been a business owner for four years having set up his marketing agency Cotton Digital, formerly HDW Marketing in 2020.

“I attended Burnley College between 16 and 18 and studied computer science. In one lesson, we learnt how to make logos, and realising I was good at it, I started to sell them online. One of my customers then asked me to build him a website, so I did, and then it progressed into him asking if I’d look after his social media for him.

“I’d not considered this as a service at that point but partnered with him for that too. It was always something I was interested in and comfortable with using,” Harvey said.

He clearly has a strong work ethic, as he became a business development manager at fellow Burnley Bondholder Recycle IT, whilst running his marketing business on the side. Harvey found he excelled at sales and realised he could combine his design, marketing and selling skills to take his business to the next level. But it meant he needed to take the plunge so he could focus on it full time, and he made the leap in July 2022.

Harvey has built quite the local client base during this time. TCB Designs, NHS, Sugden Ltd, Kip McGrath, Regal Precision Engineering, SJD Consultancy and Burnley Mechanics are just a handful of Harvey’s clients.

In fact, he’s already having to take on employees to keep up with demand. The team is now made up of a number digital marketing executives who are trained in all relevant areas of marketing and act as a main port of call for clients. Each digital marketing executive is given a set of clients and their role is to work closely with them to satisfy their marketing requirements whatever they may be. The most common offering provided by the team is a trio package including assistance with social media, search engine optimisation and public relations. The team’s expansion has allowed Harvey to focus more on strategy and growth, drumming up new clients and spreading the word about what Cotton Digital can offer.

But how has Harvey grown so quickly? “Initially the majority of my clients came through LinkedIn. There are so many businesses on there, especially Burnley Bondholders, it’s such an underestimated channel for networking and new business.

“However, as our client base has grown the entirety of our business now comes from customer referrals.

This is something I’m really proud of as it’s testament to the importance we place on building relationships with our clients,” Harvey explained.

Due to how the business was expanding, in 2023 Harvey decided that it was time for a rebrand, moving away from the HDW branding “it’s no longer just me, I’ve taken people on and it was definitely time for a new name,” Harvey stated.

We’re certainly blown away by how professional and driven Harvey is and we’re looking forward to seeing the next stage in his career. our client base has grown the entirety of our business now comes from customer referrals. This is something I’m really proud of as it’s testament to the importance we place on building relationships with our clients. “ ”

Global giant SS&C committed to local apprenticeships

Feature : Xxxx In Focus : SS&C Technologies


Technologies is the world’s largest mutual fund transfer agency providing endto-end expertise across financial services operations with software and solutions to service customers in the financial services and healthcare industries.

It has approximately 27,000 employees across the globe - and one thriving office is located in Burnley.

We met with Rob Moore, director – client services retail at SS&C and based at the Burnley office in Business First, Empire Way. The UK is home to around 4,000 employees in the UK, with the East Lancashire location being the latest to join the huge global fold.

“When we opened in Burnley in 2022, we weren’t sure what to expect. We’d had absolutely brilliant support from Burnley Council and could see with the Burnley Bondholders that there was an innovative and go-getting business community here. But I think it is safe to say that being here has surpassed our expectations,” he said.

In what way has the new Burnley location impressed the SS&C team?

“As mentioned, we’ve been really impressed with how Burnley Council works to attract new investment and also to retain the investment and talent already in the borough. It was obvious how much SS&C coming here would mean in terms of a long-term partnership. Business First have been great with us – we’ve knocked through into additional offices several times over, such has been the rapid rate of recruitment,” Rob continued.

Another benefit is perhaps a surprising one. Rob explained: “We service some of the largest investment institutions in the world from Burnley, customer feedback tells us they love to hear out local, warm and friendly Burnley accent as an alternative to other regional intonations.”

Committed to developing talent

We’re delighted to hear that having a presence in Burnley has proven to be a solid strategic move for SS&C, with 60 employees now based here. In fact, the company is still heavily recruiting, but has its eye on developing talent via apprenticeships.

SS&C have partnered with Themis at Burnley College to take on apprentices. The first two, Saima and Harry, have completed 18 months and passed with distinction and will now join the business full time.

We spoke to Saima Begum, 18, (customer service) and Harry McCarthy, 21, (business admin) about why they decided to follow an apprenticeship route into a career:

Harry told us:

Saima told us: “I used to study art and design at Burnley College, before quickly realising it was a hobby rather than a passion I wanted to pursue as a career. I then moved across to business, before choosing the apprenticeship route for my second year.

“Apprenticeships are becoming popular again and I can see why, as you are learning and adapting all of the time. It’s solidified my belief that business is my passion and everything else fell into place.

“At school, I was in the bottom sets and didn’t achieve the best grades. When I started college, once I realised business was what I enjoyed, I started to push myself and do research in my own time, which meant the good grades followed. Like Harry, I’d not heard about SS&C before my interview, but quickly discovered how big it was and that it also covered areas such as software, healthcare and AI. So I was surprised when I secured the apprenticeship to be honest!”

Why was she surprised?

“My experience at school really, but my advice for others who may doubt themselves is don’t! I’m now focused on positive mindset and that you can do anything you put your mind to. Focusing on your passion is key and I’m looking forward to working in the different SS&C departments as they open in Burnley.”

Following Saima and Harry’s success, five more apprentices have joined the business. In fact, Rob is on something of a mission and has boldly stated that he is aiming to ensure circa 20-25% per cent of the workforce is made up of apprentices, supported by the company’s close links with Burnley College and The University of Central Lancashire.

So, what next for SS&C?

We will continue to grow our operational presence in Burnley, ensuring we support knowledge improvement and development across our different financial services departments. Apprentices will play a crucial role in that growth, our experience with them so far has proven how valuable they can be, bringing new perspectives, ideas and enthusiasm to our team.

“I decided to follow the apprenticeship route because I like the fact you can learn different skills, move between areas and build people skills, which obviously you need in most jobs. Personally, I’ve found going down this route has benefitted me more and I’ve definitely matured and come into my own during my time at SS&C.

“When Burnley College invited me to interview at SS&C, I’d not heard of them before, but quickly learnt just how big this global company is. I like the fact its size and scope mean there’s plenty of different opportunities and career paths to go down. I don’t have a definitive plan regarding my career at the moment, but I always knew I’d end up staying here past my apprenticeship; I’m really happy working here.”



58 In Focus : Grace Francis
Awards 2024. The Degree Apprenticeship Award and the Special Award for Outstanding Contribution.
double award winner at the Themis Inspire and Achieve

INa world where traditional academic pathways are often heralded as the sole route to success, Grace Francis stands as a testament to the power and potential of apprenticeships. Recently honoured as a double winner at the Themis Inspire and Achieve Awards, Grace’s journey from an eager student to a celebrated apprentice and now, a beacon of innovation within the engineering sector, is nothing short of inspirational. She’s even been invited to Downing Street as a Skills Champion to share her experiences with fellow apprentices, employers and MPs.

Grace’s story begins with a clear vision for her future, one not confined by the walls of a conventional classroom. Her passion for hands-on learning and a fervent interest in engineering led her to pursue an apprenticeship, a decision that has since transformed her life. Unlike many of her peers, Grace opted out of the traditional academic route immediately after school, driven by a desire for practical experience and realworld application of her skills. This choice was not made lightly but with a conviction that learning “through doing” was where her future lay.

Her apprenticeship at HycAero, formerly Hycrome, marked the beginning of a remarkable career trajectory. Over seven years, Grace completed her Higher National Certificate (HNC) and Higher National Diploma (HND) at Burnley College University Courses and subsequently graduated with a First Class Honours in Engineering Design in her degree apprenticeship. Her journey is a prime example of how apprenticeships can offer a viable and rewarding path to achieving one’s career aspirations.

Grace’s dedication was also noticed at the highest levels. Nominated by Burnley MP Antony Higginbotham and Burnley College, her invitation to the Local Skills Champion Reception at 10 Downing St was a moment of immense pride and gratitude for Grace as it acknowledged her exceptional contributions as a Themis apprentice and her unwavering advocacy

for apprenticeships. Grace said: “Meeting Secretary of State for Education, Gillian Keegan, a former apprentice, highlighted the power of role models in smashing barriers and defying stereotypes, especially for women in STEM. My journey in engineering shows that gender should never limit your ambition.”

Beyond her personal achievements, Grace has become a mentor to younger apprentices, passing on her knowledge and experiences to the next generation. Her commitment to fostering growth and innovation within her field is evident in her active participation in open events, where she shares her journey with prospective engineers.

Looking to the future, Grace Francis is poised to continue her impactful work in the engineering sector. For business leaders considering taking on an apprentice, Grace’s journey offers a powerful example of the potential that apprenticeships hold for uncovering and nurturing talent.

In a world that is increasingly recognising the importance of diverse learning experiences, Grace stands as a shining example of how passion, dedication and apprenticeships can lead to much more than personal success. Her story is greater than that of individual achievement; it’s a call to action for both businesses and aspiring professionals to consider the transformative power of apprenticeships.

59 Grace Francis sharing her experiences at the Themis Inspire and Achieve Awards 2024


Our previous InBusiness Burnley issue featured Ged Ennis, a Burnley stalwart who has grown the thriving solar energy solutions business, The Low Carbon Energy Company.

60 In Focus : The Low Carbon Energy Company
“It’s a pleasure to be appointed into the new role and something I am enjoying so far. We’re working towards a clear plan and target, which is to become the best in our field within the UK. As a team we have worked really hard to get to where we are today, and will continue to do so to get where we want to be.”

Low Carbon Energy are UK-leading providers of solar PV and renewable energy solutions across mainland UK and Ireland, specialising in commercial solar energy, alongside managing and maintaining existing systems.

Ged Ennis and the team achieved significant success with the business since its founding in 2008, reaching £8.6 million in turnover by the end of 2023 and aiming for £10 million by March 2024. After careful planning, Ged and Maura, Ged’s wife and the company’s financial director, decided to hand over the reins to their 27-yearold son, Benedict, who has proven his capability and commitment over the years.

When we spoke to Ged he emphasised

the importance of delegation for growth and spoke of looking forward to enjoying retirement, while Benedict prepares to lead the company into the future:

“Benedict’s takeover of the company marks a pivotal moment in its journey. Despite joining the company at a young age, he has demonstrated exceptional energy, knowledge, and rapport with clients.”

Ged and Maura ensured Benedict understood the business thoroughly and was fully committed to the role before entrusting him with the position of managing director.

Speaking about his new role Benedict said: “It’s a pleasure to be appointed into the new role and something I am enjoying so far. We’re working towards a clear plan and target, which is to become the best in our field within the UK. As a team we have worked really hard to get to where we are today, and will continue to do so to get where we want to be.”

Inspiring the nextnext generation

Part of Benedict’s strategy for the business is to inspire the next generation. The company is part of the Raising Aspirations Programme (RAP), facilitated by Positive Footprints, a Burnley-based education service provider focused on careerbased learning. Through partnerships with local organisations and schools,

Positive Footprints provides programmes designed to open the world of work for children and young people.

As part of RAP Benedict has worked with year 5 students at Rosewood Primary, St Peter’s Primary and is now set to work with Whittlefield Primary School. Having been appointed managing director in his 20’s, Benedict is a brilliant example for the children:

“We are delighted to continue our partnership with Positive Footprints and our own ‘Inspiring change today that protects future generation’ programme. It’s really important that the local children in our schools can see the opportunities that exist in our town and if we can play a small part in raising aspirations then we are more than happy to do so,” said Benedict Jo Norwood, customer relationship manager at Positive Footprints, said, “I’m thrilled that Low Carbon Energy are continuing to work with us. We saw the impact they had when they visited Rosewood Primary last year for a career carousel so it’s brilliant we can inspire more children at another Burnley school.”

As part of the Raising Aspirations Programme pupils will learn about skills and qualities as well getting to write their own age-appropriate CV. They will also be given opportunities to engage in Career Conversations, live streamed video events where pupils can engage professionals about the reality of their careers.

This programme is the perfect match for a young business leader with bright aspirations for his familygrown business. We certainly look forward to seeing Low Carbon Energy’s growth over the next few years.


Feature : Xxxx

In Focus : Supported internships

Supported internships opening up employment opportunities for young people with additional needs

For some young people with additional needs transitioning from education into employment isn't always easy, but DFN Project SEARCH aims to change this through its supported internships. Through the one-year transition to work programme young adults with a learning disability or autism spectrum conditions, or both are able to gain valuable skills and experience. Working closely with the public, private and voluntary sector the programme facilitates supported employment internships for young people in their last year of education, helping them to take positive first steps into the world of work.

Sarah Moorhouse, Project SEARCH tutor explained more: ‘Supported internships are life changing for both the young person and their families as they open up a world of choice and opportunity. By accessing three, fully immersive, work placements interns gain valuable transferrable skills, knowledge and behaviours to ensure that they are successful in the world of work. Furthermore, employers can gain a deeper understanding of inclusion and welcome a previously untapped pool of employees who bring both diversity and different thinking to their workplace. Nationally, only 4.6% of people with a disability known to their Local Authority, are in employment,

compared to over 70% of DFN Project SEARCH Graduates. The Burnley site, based in Calico, has a success rate of 100%, meaning all of our 2022/23 cohort are now in sustainable and meaningful employment.’

Internship proven success story

Burnley-based Positive Footprints, part of the Regenda Group, is just one company that has provided such a placement. Tegan Mulby joined them for a 12-week work experience placement in 2022.

“Having Tegan as part of our Positive Footprints team is brilliant. She brings so much insight, and makes the whole team think differently. She has an impeccable work ethic and the initial support we received from the Project Search team was invaluable. Without them we wouldn't have even met Tegan, never mind be able to employ her!" said Lesley Burrows, managing director at Positive Footprints.

Tegan’s work placement was such a success that she become a permanent Positive Footprints team member in 2022.

“It’s fantastic having Tegan as a permanent member of our team helping us shape brighter futures for children and young people as a Customer Service Assistant,” added Lesley.

Of her new career Tegan said: “I was so happy to be offered a permanent role at Positive Footprints, my colleagues have always been very positive and supportive of me. As soon as I stepped into Positive Footprints, I could understand that it was a welcoming and supportive atmosphere where everyone was very friendly and listened to what I had to say.”

Since becoming a permanent employee Tegan has completed a Customer Service Apprenticeship with The Learning Foundry in 2023. Speaking of this she said:

“Completing an apprenticeship was a whole new experience for me. I was interested in the customer service aspect and wanted to build my confidence in a professional environment, as well as personally. The apprenticeship helped me build good working relationships with my colleagues, understand the brand’s values and progress in my role. I felt like I was learning something new every day during my apprenticeship.

If you would like to find out more about DFN Project Search or are able to offer a work placement visit dfnprojectsearch. org, email or telephone 01282 686502.

Insurance brokers & financial planners There for every step Wealth solutions Providing you with security and freedom of choice for all your financial planning needs Insurance solutions We’re not your traditional insurance broker, providing insurance for you and your business t: 01282 452255 e: w:

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.