THE train line between Burnley and Manchester has celebrated its fifth anniversary ­— and the millions of pounds of investment that has come with it.

The so-called Todmorden Curve, which started service on May 17, 2015, allows for a 45-minute journey time between Burnley and Manchester Victoria Station and was the first direct rail link between Manchester and East Lancashire in 40 years.

The line was built following a 10-year partnership and millions of pounds of investment between Burnley Council, Lancashire County Council, Network Rail and Northern Rail.

Burnley Bondholders chairman Mark Crabtree OBE said: “The reopening of the line really supported the vision we have for Burnley - to build on the innovative, resilient and entrepreneurial approach the town has.

“Burnley is firmly establishing itself as a place to invest, work, live and study and the recent news that Burnley College Sixth Form has been officially named as the top college in England is evidence of that.”

The line, which saw around 400,000 journeys between 2018-19 alone, has allowed various businesses to relocate to the town, helping to spur further investment.

Mr Crabtree said: “The direct rail link hugely benefits the local economy and employment, not to mention making it even easier for those outside the town to visit our impressive countryside and facilities.

“The original £13 million investment into the reopening of the Todmorden Curve and refurbishment of Burnley Manchester Road train station has clearly paid dividends and will do for many years to come.”

One such business that has thrived thanks to the rail link has been digital marketing firm Door4, which relocated from Pendle in 2017.

Managing director Leon Calverley said: “I’m from Burnley so I know first-hand how business-friendly the town is.

“When space became available at Burnley Wharf next to the canal, we immediately expressed an interest - not only is it in a beautiful location, but it is close to Manchester Road train station and the bus station, which played an important part in our decision.

“Being connected to Manchester provides us with the ability to do business daily in the city, whilst maintaining Burnley headquarters.”