Opera star leads celebrations as Burnley is named UK's most enterprising area (From Burnley and Pendle Citizen)
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Opera star leads celebrations as Burnley is named UK's most enterprising area
BURNLEY’s new status as the ‘most enterprising area’ in the UK was marked with a spectacular rooftop performance from opera star Sean Ruane.
The singer, who opened every Ashes test match this summer, took to the roof of Burnley College yesterday, as hundreds of business leaders and dignitaries waved flags to celebrate the achievement.
National television crews also watched on as Ruane belted out several hymns, including Jerusalem, to the crowd below.
As reported in the Lancashire Telegraph yesterday, the recognition has come from Business Secretary Vince Cable as part of the Enterprising Britain Awards.
Mr Cable praised Burnley for its ‘Bondholders’ scheme, which brought together more than 100 firms to promote the town and attracted £10million of investment.
Alastair Campbell, former Labour spin doctor and long-time Clarets supporter, attended the event, and told the Lancashire Telegraph: “I think this is deserved, and an indication of how well the people and businesses have done in turning round the sense of negativity that the town has had for so long.
“The worst time was the race riots in 2001 and, if I’m frank, I don’t think I could have imagined this now, with an opera singer on the roof celebrating Burnley’s success. I think it’s fantastic.”
Mark Crabtree, managing director of ‘Oscar-winning’ Burnley firm AMS Neve, said: “This has been a long time coming really, for the town to get this recognition. Hopefully, it will inspire people even further.
“A lot of people made assumptions about the town and never bothered to check them. But I think this will shock them into re-evaluating what we do here, and what the town is about.”
Prince Charles, who has visited Burnley four times in recent years, sent this message: “I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to the people of Burnley on being awarded Most Enterprising Area in the UK by The Enterprising Britain Awards committee.
“The award recognises the fact that Burnley can demonstrate improved economic prospects by exhibiting pioneering examples of enterprise activity throughout the area.”
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