ACCRINGTON'S civic leaders and industry bosses joined forces to show the director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership what the town has to offer.

The town's movers and shakers, who collectively call themselves the #AmazingAccrington group, welcomed Henri Murison to Accrington & Rossendale College to discuss what benefits the Northern Powerhouse Partnership can offer to the region.

The agenda was focussed on how to attract inward investment, 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 Lancashire Chamber of Commerce and representatives of the borough's leading firms.

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 were also in attendance.

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.

"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 £300million investing in rail transport to the north along with a further £100million 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 an expansion of Manchester’s Metrolink system into Rossendale and Accrington.

Miranda Barker, chief executive of the East Lancashire 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."

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

For more information visit