A COUNCIL leader has hailed a borough's new Economic Recovery and Growth Strategy as its 'route map' to the future.

Burnley's new Labour political boss Cllr Mark Townsend was speaking after its Full Council rubber-stamped the blueprint on Thursday night.

The document, part-prepared by the previous coalition administration before it collapsed, concentrates on innovation and skills, green growth, clean energy and medical technology.

The meeting also approved a multi-million pound loan to Burnley College for its £7million expansion and a new financial package for the revised £21m Pioneer Place town centre leisure development

Liberal Democrat Cllr Maggie Lishman told the council meeting the strategy would help the borough recover from the coronavirus pandemic as it had from previous economic downturns.

Green Party group boss Cllr Andy Fewings welcomed the environmental emphasis of the document but said words needed to be turned into actions,

Labour's Cllr Marcus Johnstone said it must tackle the problems of youth unemployment and training to prevent a generation of 'scarred' adults growing up in the town.

As part of the strategy, the council approved an extra £350,000 for it business growth fund, £25,000 to help firm's adopt new “green” technologies, and the creation of a new economic recovery board involving public and private sector partners.

Cllr Townsend told the Lancashire Telegraph: "The plan is the town's route map to returning the town to growth as quickly as possible utilising the strengths of the public, private and voluntary sectors.

"Intervening where we need to in our town centre economy and training our workforce with the skills needed for the jobs of the future are key elements to the plans delivery.

"Major schemes like Pioneer Place and the Burnley College extension which have just been given the green light show that this is a plan we are determined to deliver.

"The plan follows the recent commitment of the council to endorse the Aerospace Recovery Plan produced by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership to ensure we play our part in retaining high value businesses and skilled workers in this vital sector for the town."