At #AmazingAccrington we are known for our fantastic events and what a year it has been for Accrington.

Despite restrictions, we’ve continued with our mission to create a positive, enthusiastic feeling for the area and to be a force for positive change.

We kicked things off by hosting a visit by Sir John Timpson, to help and advise us on the future of Accrington Town Centre. He even wrote about us in a national newspaper!

Mr Timpson said: “I’ve had a very enjoyable morning. There are lots of positives in Accrington – you have a lot of the right ingredients for success. If you make a bid happen for expert help, with an inspirational leader anything is possible.”

We then took our local MP, Sara Britcliffe, and local business What More into St Mary’s primary school in Clayton le Moors for an inspiring visit about plastic recycling.

That was quickly followed by a trip to St Christopher’s secondary school with both Sara and tech company Sundown Solutions to talk about cyber careers and Apprenticeships.

In May we held an extremely successful Education Summit at the North Lancs Training Group Vocational Centre of Excellence – head teachers and careers leads from high schools, together with businesses and education providers, with special guest Dr Sakthi, heard about engagement with employers in the borough and raising aspirations for the next generation, meeting the needs of employers and tailoring education.

We’ve continued our work to inspire young people in their career paths by taking Emerson and Renwick to Hyndburn Academy, Sundown Solutions to The Hollins, Studio Retail to Hollins plus St Andrew’s Primary in Oswaldtwistle and What More to Mount Carmel, amongst others.

All that built up to an exciting and inspiring Futures Event in October, where all secondary school Year 11s in Hyndburn were invited to meet businesses, education providers, the Army and the Police, in the Town Hall.

On the event, Leesa Amin, PSCHE Lead at The Oswaldtwistle School, said: “Our students thoroughly enjoyed it, they enjoyed speaking to new people and learning what’s on offer to them. A lot of students didn’t know you could do what you can do. They’ve taken away a lot of materials, we’ll go through them with our students and hopefully open many doors for them.”

Here at #AmazingAccrington, we’ve also helped companies give back to the local community by organising the Accrington Stanley shirt giveaway to all local Year 2 children, for the fifth year running with the help of the O.A.S.S.T.

Once again we helped organise a food bank collection in aid of Accrington-based charity Maundy Relief, alongside Accrington Stanley and the O.A.S.S.T.

We have also hosted meetings to discuss a one billion pound development project surrounding a new East Lancashire Freight Rail Terminal in Hyndburn. We welcomed speakers from the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership and the East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce & Industry plus many more, and we are pushing hard to make that happen.

Our fabulous year of events and activities ended in style, as we organised the 2021 Accrington Christmas Light Switch On. Over 12,000 people flocked to Accrington Town Centre for a funfilled night of family entertainment, with many saying they had never seen it so busy. What a great night it was!

With lots more to come, we can’t wait for an even better 2022!