THE technical genius behind Oscar-winning film soundtracks and hit records is to be awarded the freedom of his home borough.

Mark Crabtree, the founder of AMS Neve, is to be made a Freeman of Burnley next week at a special ceremony.

Equipment made by his firm, based in the town’s Billington Road, has provided the soundtracks for countless films - including James Bond blockbusters - and the records of many top pop and rock musicians.

He will receive his award at as special meeting of Burnley Full Council on Thursday when long-serving former Padiham councillor and former Mayor Andy Tatchell is made an Alderman of the Borough.

He joins sports stars Jimmy McIlroy and James Anderson given the honour in 2008 and 2011.

Mr Crabtree, a former chairman of business group Burnley Bondholders, took AMS Neve from his Worsthorne kitchen in 1976 to become a world-leading company which has won two technical Oscars.

Cllr Anne Kelly, who nominated him, said: “Mark is a visionary designer, having pioneered many ‘world firsts’, techniques and technologies which are still in use today in music, film and TV sound.

"Mark was also chairman of the Burnley Bondholders and is heavily involved in encouraging business and enterprise in Burnley.

“In recent years he has devoted much of his time to developing and promoting Burnley as a thriving centre for advanced manufacturing and engineering.

“Mark continues to support the development and aspirations of young people in the town, and inviting colleges and universities to visit the AMS Neve Art of Sound exhibition which has welcomed more than 3,000 students through its doors.”

Mr Tatchell became a councillor in 1999, representing Hapton with Park ward before being elected in Gawthorpe in 2003 which he represented until his retirement in May 2021.

He was Mayor of Burnley in 2014/15 and Mayor of Padiham Town Council in 2005 and 2018.

Cllr Cosima Towneley, who nominated Mr Tatchell, said: “Andy served the whole borough with distinction and dedication on a daily basis.”