A COUNCIL proposes to boost its business growth fund by £350,000 to help local firms recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

Burnley borough's ruling executive also authorised the use of £25,000 from the council’s climate change initiative budget to help businesses adopt new “green” technologies and to diversify into low carbon supply chains.

The senior councillors agreed to set up and economic recovery board involving public and private sector partners to help the borough bounce back from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and restrictions placed on businesses.

The moves were approved as the executive adopted Economic Recovery and Growth Strategy for Burnley and Padiham.

New Labour council leader Cllr Mark Townsend paid tribute to the work of officers and members of the coalition administration which ran the borough for 16 months for the work in preparing the five-year blueprint.

It concentrates on innovation and skills, green growth, clean energy and medical technology.

Cllr Townsend said: "While we continue to tackle this Covid-19crisis and protect our residents, we also have to plan ahead to a brighter future.

“Over the past years we’ve managed to buck the national trend in many respects when it comes to our local economy and we’ve seen significant employment growth and investment. We can’t afford to see all that hard work reversed by coronavirus.

“We must respond effectively and efficiently, providing our business and our residents with the right support and interventions necessary to enable them to continue to live and work in these unprecedented times.”