Housing two of Biz Hub’s twelve business centres, the Lancashire town of Burnley is set to go through one of its biggest transformations in decades as it moves towards being a genuine University town, with its population of students set to soar from 400 today to 4,000 by 2025. Biz Hub’s Head of Sales, Paul Fitzsimmons updates us on the opportunities that this presents for small businesses to establish themselves and grow in this historic town, and why Biz Hub is well-positioned to accommodate this growth.

“We have been spending a lot of time in Burnley having recently acquired two business centres in the town, and you can’t fail to be impressed with the effort and leadership shown by Burnley Council to develop and reposition the town’s economy, and respond to market forces affecting change in the area,” notes Paul.

Whilst Burnley made its name as a mill town during the industrial revolution, it is now the digital revolution which looks set to give Burnley its next lease of life as Paul highlights; “Burnley is one of the towns that’s dispelling the myth that the growth of digital companies is only taking place in trendy inner-city areas. Forward-thinking organisations, such as Digital Lancashire, have worked hard to develop a thriving ecosystem of tech start-up and scale-up businesses that have established Burnley as a digital hotspot. Indeed, the 2018 Tech Nation major report into the UK’s digital economy puts Burnley in the country’s top 16 ‘Tech Towns.’ Increasingly, the global reach of the internet affords entrepreneurs the opportunity to achieve success without needing to be based in large financial centres such as London or Manchester.”

Nowhere can the marriage of industrial revolution and digital revolution be better witnessed than at Biz Hub’s Burnley business centres as Paul explains; “Both of our centres are former mill buildings which have been tastefully converted in to modern business centre space whilst still retaining their charming original character. We are currently in the middle of a six-figure investment in to our centres, and as well as maintaining a modern workspace which accentuates the period features, a significant sum has been allocated to the installation of upgraded fibre broadband connectivity to ensure we continue to meet the demands of our diverse array of customers.”

Biz Hub CEO Jeff Morton was also keen to highlight Seneca’s continued investment in the town; “From the day we acquired our properties in Burnley, totalling some 55,000 sq ft of office and light industrial space, we’ve been keen to be good corporate citizens and play our part in the positive stories within the local community. We are part of the highly regarded ‘Burnley Bondholders’ scheme – a public and private partnership of 183 companies and organisations who are committed to promoting and developing the town. This gives us access to key decision makers at networking events and private functions and is a clear statement of intent to our current and potential customers that we are invested in the town and its development for the foreseeable future. It’s also great to see the football team continuing to hold its own in the Premier League which has really helped put the town on the map outside of the local area. We are really excited about what the future holds for Burnley over the next 10 years.”

Returning to the imminent major expansion of the town’s student population, Paul concludes, “This really is a game-changer for Burnley. An influx of students will quickly transform the town’s leisure economy – new attractions and outlets are already under development. Graduating students will provide a critical pipeline of talent to satisfy the demands of growing companies and at Biz Hub we believe we are fantastically well placed to service the demand for flexible office space that these exciting developments create.”