TODAY we launch a new supplement celebrating the work of the Hive Business network in Blackburn and Darwen.

Here Khalid Saifullah, chairman of the network, gives his view on why the organisation is so vital to the success of the town.

THE Hive Network was launched in 2012, uniting businesses, organisations and individuals across the area in a powerful network to help develop and promote Blackburn and Darwen, challenge perceptions and raise the profile of the area.

Hive mobilises organisations to be proactive advocates for the place, with the power to influence how it is marketed, how it is portrayed in the media and events, and to get Blackburn and Darwen known and thought about by the people that matter.

Over the last five years Blackburn with Darwen has seen many exciting projects take shape, Cathedral Quarter being probably the best known and most significant. By bringing like-minded people together, we are changing our borough for the better.

Events such as the National Festival of Making and accolades such as the National High Street of the Year award illustrate the wider recognition the borough is receiving throughout the country.

We are also investing in our future workforce, with Hive Business School now supporting all public sector schools in the borough.

The Hive Ambassadors also bring together the knowledge, networks, passion and determination of businesses, organisations and individuals as a powerful force, helping the place compete, attracting investment, business and visitors to create a more successful economy – and that’s something everyone can benefit from.

And lastly, the newly created Bee Social gives us valued reflective downtime to enjoy what our town has to offer.

But what’s a story if it is not told? Please enjoy this and future Hive supplements and if not already a member, join us in our journey to make Blackburn with Darwen the place to live, visit and do business in, and a place to be proud of.