Loyal staff and customers have made Burnley successful, says leading businessman (From This Is Lancashire)
Loyal staff and customers have made Burnley successful, says leading businessman
LOYAL staff and customers are behind Burnley’s enterprise success according to one of the town’s best-known businessmen.
Andy Brown, managing director at Crow Wood Leisure, said a plethora of family-run firms in the area created a ‘great affinity’ with residents.
He set up Crow Wood in 2001 after the sale of his family business, equipment company FH Brown.
Born and bred in Burnley, Mr Brown said last week’s government announcement that Burnley was the UK’s most enterprising area proved the town was no longer a ‘whipping boy’.
He said: “We started 12 years ago with what was just a redundant dairy farm.
“We levelled it completely and now we have 140 employees, 95 per cent of whom come from within 10 miles of the venue.
“Many of our staff have been with us for years, and it’s the same with the customers. We’re very much a family-run business and I think people like that.
“The facilites Burnley has to offer are as good as you’ll see anywhere. We’ve just invested £4.5 million in our spa and restaurant expansion and it’s as comprehensive as a five-star hotel.
“We have a location, 100 acres of the best grade farmland, that borders the M65 on one side and the River Calder on the other – you can see Pendle Hill out of the window.
“We’re in the green belt but we’re in the town centre – that combination is a winning one.”
Mr Brown, a member of the Burnley Bondholders scheme which was praised by prime minister David Cameron on Wednesday, believes the town is on an upward trajectory.
He said: “One of the things we do as Bondholders is get out and meet people.
“For a long time, Burnley has been the whipping boy of the national media but now we’re showing them that it’s not just a town of boarded-up houses.
“Yes we have those, but every town has that. Burnley has a hell of a lot going for it and the Bondholders have helped sell that positive image.
“Burnley is doing better than most of the places around it. We’re really on the up.”
Political and business leaders including minbus guru Dave Fishwick, MP Gordon Birtwistle and former Clarets star Jimmy McIlroy, have united to praise the town since it received the enterprise award from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills last Tuesday.
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