Published Friday 11 December 2015 at 10:59
Blackburn with Darwen Council has been short-listed for a national award for driving business growth in the borough.
The Council is a finalist in the prestigious LGC Awards that see Councils throughout the UK, compete to be recognised for best practice in the public sector.
Blackburn with Darwen Council is one of 11 Councils who have been selected in the Driving Growth category, which highlights the local authority’s role in improving infrastructure, exercise of its regulatory responsibilities, its position as an employer and its ability to support local businesses.
Those Councils that showed they worked well with local partners, had a strong relationship with the business sector, had initiatives in place to drive growth and were able to show their achievements were shortlisted for the award.
Blackburn with Darwen Council’s entry is underpinned by the borough’s ‘Plan for Prosperity’ – an ambitious programme aimed at delivering higher rates of economic growth and improved opportunities for residents.
The plan is complemented by the Hive Network, the Council’s business network of 250 firms and its partnership with the LEP (Lancashire Enterprise Partnership) that incorporates a growth programme that will see the Council play an important role within Lancashire and the wider Northern Powerhouse.
Current projects that demonstrate Blackburn with Darwen’s commitment to growth include the newly constructed £30m Cathedral Quarter, the £14m railway improvement package that will pave the way for a half hourly daytime service between Manchester and Blackburn and the soon to open Making Rooms which will host Lancashire’s first Fab Lab.
The Making Rooms will be a creative, digital and technological hub equipped with cutting edge equipment and 3D printers that will allow people and businesses to develop new ideas.
Blackburn with Darwen Council is up against large authorities such as Birmingham and Leeds City Councils for the award and is the only Lancashire authority to be shortlisted in this category.
The authority has also been nominated for the Partnership of the Year category in the same awards for its work with Newton Europe in providing adult social care.
The final selection will take place in March next year at an event ceremony held in London.
Executive member for regeneration, Councillor Phil Riley, said:
It just shows how hard as a Council we’ve worked to make the most of our opportunities that we’re being recognised alongside much bigger authorities.
I welcome competitions such as this because it gives us the chance to see what other councils are achieving and to see if there’s any valuable lessons we can learn to build on the work we’ve been doing.