AN accountancy firm hailed as an 'exceptional local business' has celebrated 100 years of trading.

An MP was on hand for celebrations at Hargreaves, Brown & Benson chartered accountants, based in Bond Street, Colne, which has been practising since 1917.

Hargreaves, Brown & Benson has been a mainstay of business in the town, never having moved out of Colne throughout its century of existence.

Richard Alfred Hargreaves founded the firm then at Lloyd's Chambers in Market Street, Colne. In 1921 John William Brown and William Benson joined Mr Hargreaves as partners.

In 1936 the firm moved to Derby Street, Colne, and then to its current base nearly 70 years later in 2005.

Current partners Steven Wood and Michael Evans trained with the firm, becoming partners in 1987 and 1993 respectively.

Pendle Conservative MP Andrew Stephenson was present to start the celebrations and recognise the landmark occasion with staff,

He was a guest of honour at a ceremony at the firm’s offices, where he cut the ribbon on a new plinth in the lobby.

It showcases an original ledger from the firm's first year of trading.

Mr Stephenson said: “I’m delighted and honoured to celebrate the centenary of Hargreaves, Brown & Benson.

"It’s a remarkable achievement for a thriving and exceptional local business.”

When HBB first opened its premises the country had just been subjected to bread rationing during the First World War and anyone might have thought it would have been an extremely difficult time to begin.

But HBB thrived and now employs more than 30 staff. It can also boast an enviable client list.

Senior partner Mr Wood said: “It is wonderful to be commemorating 100 years of Hargreaves, Brown & Benson.

"Our new centenary stand will have pride of place in reception for all to see.

"It is truly a milestone year for us and we can only hope that the next 100 years can be as successful as the previous.”