Jobs spike hailed a Blackburn with Darwen ‘success story’

Published Friday 4 December 2015 at 9:40

Almost 4,000 new jobs have been created in Blackburn with Darwen since 2009, surpassing regional and national job growth figures.

Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics and the 2014 Business Register and Employment Survey show 66,200 people work for a business based in the borough compared with 62,300 in 2009 – an increase of 6.3%. This is significantly more than the North West and England increases of 2.2% and 4.5% respectively.

They show a spike in growth during the most recent year calculated – 2013 to 2014 – when private sector job numbers grew by 5.5% (2,500) in the borough compared to 4.3% in the North West and 4.9% in England.

It comes as new research has confirmed Blackburn as one of the best locations in the UK to start up a small business. The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) examined information from 64 cities across the UK to determine the best location to start a business. Blackburn was the only place in Lancashire to make it into the top 20 list, alongside the likes of Cambridge, Brighton and Aberdeen.

The increase in new jobs has been welcomed by Blackburn with Darwen Council and local business leaders, who say it is evidence that investment and support for business and innovation – including the creation of the Hive business leaders network in 2012 – is paying off.

The Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, Cllr Phil Riley, said:

“This is great news and signals the beginning of an exciting new era for the borough. Despite challenging financial times, we have continued to invest in those things that support job growth – from high quality commercial and office space to an improved and better connected transport system – and this is the result, with unemployment at its lowest since 2009.

“We will continue to transform the borough and increase opportunities for local residents over the coming years, with plans to create 100,000 square metres of new commercial floor space, more than 3,000 new homes, 2,700 new jobs and higher level skills by 2020.”

Khalid Saifullah, Director of manufacturing firm Star Tissue and chair of the Hive business network, said:

“This is a vote of confidence for the borough and demonstrates the strength of businesses in the borough, which are continuing to invest and create jobs.

“It’s a tremendous success story, but we won’t be complacent. It’s great to be creating local jobs, but we also need to ensure that we are making the most of this opportunity for local people by working with schools and colleges to harness talent and develop a skilled future workforce.”


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