A GROUP of Accrington stakeholders have played host to the Director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership to outline how they see the project benefitting the people in the Hyndburn area.

The #AmazingAccrington group, which is a collective from all sectors determined to push a positive image of Accrington, welcomed Henri Murison to Accrington & Rossendale College to discuss what benefits the Northern Powerhouse Partnership can offer to the region.

The agenda for the day was focussed on how to create a positive feeling for the area to attract inward investment, to create fertile ground for businesses to grow and to improve transport and communications infrastructure.

The meeting, which was hosted at the college’s Roots restaurant, was attended by Hyndburn Council, the East Lancs Chamber of Commerce and representatives of many of the region’s most important businesses, including: Andy Holt, Managing Director of What More UK, Ken Shackleton, Managing Director of The Cardboard Box Company, David McMurray, Managing Director of McMurrays Haulage Limited and Boyd Hargreaves, Managing Director of Oswaldtwistle Mills.

Mr Murison praised the group and stressed how the collective bargaining ability the group could achieve would put Accrington in a great position for investment, he said: “I think it is really important that, in Accrington, people are getting together through #AmazingAccrington to tell a clear story about where they live, about the pride they have in their place, the pride they have in their people and the pride they have in their businesses and I think if you can tell a strong story about yourselves then you’ve got every chance to succeed. It’s about getting yourself on the map and making people want to do business here, invest here and, most importantly, wanting young people who grow up here to do well in life, which is something that if you can pull together to achieve, you’ve got a great future ahead of you.”

This week the government allocated another £300 million investing in rail transport to the north along with a further £100 million for roads which is designed to improve connectivity from west to east, one of the major points raised at the meeting. There was also much talk of the region’s expertise in advanced manufacturing and how the sector could be pushed as a viable route for young people pursuing careers.

Joe McIntyre, Deputy Chief Executive of Hyndburn Council, revealed how they have been lobbying the government for investment for 2,000 new homes in Huncoat and also for and expansion of Manchester’s Metrolink system into Rossendale and Accrington.

Miranda Barker, Chief Executive of the East Lancs Chamber of Commerce, said: “I think #AmazingAccrington is really important. We’ve seen the results that Burnley Bondholders has had and the partnership between the businesses, the economic development unit and the council, to grow the businesses that are here, make a joint argument for more inward investment, to look at how to open up new economic development sites and they’ve proved that that works. And, similarly, #AmazingAccrington is starting to get a buzz now, we have the local authority speaking, we have people coming in attracting powerful people and businesses to come in and speak to us, and it is ours to now grab hold of and make it work.”

The next meeting of the #AmazingAccrington group will take place on Thursday, January 18, 2018.

For more information about #AmazingAccrington visit www.amazingaccrington.co.uk and for more information about the Northern Powerhouse Partnership visit www.northernpowerhousepartnership.co.uk