TODAY the Lancashire Telegraph launches a major campaign to throw a spotlight on the outstanding achievements and achievers in Pennine Lancashire.

The Prime Minister immediately gave the initiative his ‘wholehearted support’, drawing attention to the area’s high-performing businesses and its huge tourism potential.

Our campaign will celebrate Pennine Lancashire's business and regeneration successes as well as its remarkable people.

To thousands the region is known as East Lancashire but our campaign is deliberately adopting the Pennine Lancashire brand to dovetail with the many efforts under way to boost the area’s marketability.

David Cameron, fresh from several visits to the area in the run-up to May's General Election, said: "I wholeheartedly support the Lancashire Telegraph’s campaign to promote all that Pennine Lancashire has to offer to both tourists and businesses.

"Having visited the area many times, I’ve seen first hand the natural beauty and stunning scenery the region boasts.

"From Clitheroe Castle to the Pennine Way, it’s no wonder the heritage and history draws visitors in their droves.

"We are determined to see Pennine Lancashire benefit from our plans to build a Northern Powerhouse. We have already invested to ensure local towns are better connected, with the reopening of the Todmorden Curve providing a direct link from Burnley to Manchester for the first time in 40 years."

Lancashire Telegraph editor Kevin Young said: “The chief aim of the campaign is to celebrate, and draw attention to, the area’s many outstanding achievements.

“The Telegraph has always tried to be a force for good in the community - from raising money for vital local causes like Blackburn hospice, to running community awards in areas such as education and amateur sport. Most important of all, we’ve constantly championed the rights of our readers.

“But we recognise that even more can be done to highlight the successes of our businesses, regeneration drivers and individuals. So in the next weeks and months we will be doing just that.

“And you can help us. Whether you’re a business, a decision-maker or a community champion, get in touch to tell us about your successes so we can tell everyone else!”

The ‘where great things happen’ campaign has also been backed by leading industrialists and politicians, as well as international design guru Wayne Hemingway.

It will highlight everything from Clitheroe Castle through to Gawthorpe Hall, Queen Street Mill, Pendle Hill and the Trough of Bowland.

Hi-tech industries like aerospace have taken off, while Pennine Lancashire's sports stars have graced the international stage after cutting their teeth on local playing fields.

The Queen has identified the Ribble Valley as where she would retire if she could and her heir Prince Charles has developed a love of Burnley which saw him bring his mother and father, Prince Philip, on a rare joint family visit to its Weavers Triangle during her 2012 Diamond Jubilee year.

Adopted Pennine Lancashire son, and Blackburn MP for 36 years, former cabinet minister Jack Straw said: "I was bowled over by the beauty of the area when I first visited in the early seventies as have the many people I have brought here since.

"The challenge is now to make the best use of this wonderful heritage of ours. There are many brilliant businesses in our area, good universities and colleges and training centres. I know this can be done and I am delighted to give my wholehearted endorsement to the Lancashire Telegraph's campaign."

Max Steinberg, who as the first boss of Regenerate Pennine Lancashire brought in Manchester style-gurus Tony Wilson and Yvette Livesey to develop the new name for Lancashire's eastern heartland, said: "We wanted a name that did not just reflect its history and heritage but would fire the aspiration of its people.

"Pennine Lancashire has given so much to the UK and the world and has so much to offer in the future."

Current Regenerate chairman Tim Webber, the 61-year-old managing director of Nelson's Barnfield Construction, said: "I am absolutely delighted to see the Lancashire Telegraph launching this campaign to promote Pennine Lancashire.

"We have achieved a lot in the last few years. For example in Burnley, named most enterprising town in Britain, the continuing development of the Weavers Triangle, the first drive through fish and chip shop at Banny's, the UTC and the Innovation Drive development at the former Michelin site.

"There are great companies like Accrol in Blackburn, who we have helped develop into a fast-growing business unrecognisable from four years ago,.

"Born in Nelson and living in Colne, chairing Regenerate is a great challenge and pleasure to me.

"I think Pennine Lancashire as a brand recognises out history and heritage but also focuses on our future and aspirations as well as what a great place it is to live.

"There is a work ethic in Pennine Lancashire, which is second to none, of roll up our sleeves and get it done.

"In the industrial revolution it was the heartbeat of England and it is well placed to be the same of a new high-tech Britain."

Lancashire Chamber of Commerce chief executive Mike Damms said: "Pennine Lancashire recognises the history and heritage of the area with a fantastic skills base ad work ethic.

"Placed between the great cities of Manchester and Leeds, it can be the heartbeat of a new Britain as it was in the Victorian era.

"It is a great place to live, work, invest and do business and I am absolutely delighted to see the Lancashire Telegraph launch this campaign to promote and celebrate the area."

Burnley-born Lord Waddington, Tory MP for Nelson and Colne and then Ribble Valley for more than 20 years as well as a former Home Secretary, said: "Pennine Lancashire is a wonderful place in which to live and work.

"Ribble Valley is not the only place of beauty in Pennine Lancashire but it is right to emphasise not only Pennine Lancashire’s history, heritage and industrial achievements but also the glories of its countryside."