More ‘tech towns’ needed

A Lancashire business leader has urged the county to aim to create even more “tech towns”.

Mark Oulson-Jenkins, creative director at RTR TV, said it was “fantastic” that Burnley was among the top locations for technology firms setting up in business.

However, the East Lancashire town was the only location in the North which featured on a list of the top 16 smaller tech towns in the United Kingdom.

RTR TV is the sponsor of the Creative Business of the Year award category at the Be Inspired Business Awards, the BIBAs, which will send its judges to meet finalists next month as part of a unique second round of judging.

Mr Oulson-Jenkins said: “As a business which is based in Burnley, RTR TV has seen what has happened to embrace the digital economy in the town and I want to see even more of it in Lancashire.

“By creating spaces like Vision Park and The Landmark, Burnley is hanging the ‘open for business’ sign up and Lancashire has a lot to offer these types of businesses as well.

“When I look at the fantastic universities we have in places like Preston and Lancaster, I see huge potential which is being recognised in our cities and this needs to ripple out to the smaller surrounding towns.

“There is some great work taking place and we all need to be pushing to go even further to realise the potential which Lancashire has to offer.”

The report, Tech Nation 2018, identifies 16 of the UK’s leading tech towns which have a higher than average number of digital businesses which are growing their technology industries faster than the national average.

Burnley is joined by the Scottish town of Livingston, Enniskillen in Northern Ireland and Telford and Stafford in the West Midlands, with the remaining 11 locations all in the south of England.

Today (June 26), the judges of the Family Business of the Year will go on the road to meet finalists which include Fylde transport group Walton’s Coaches, Preston-based B&M Waste and Brindle Distillery, the Chorley firm behind Cuckoo Gin.

The Leisure Business of the Year judges will be visiting the firms on their shortlist tomorrow (Wednesday, June 27) and the judging continues until July 11, when the Business of the Year judges, led by headline sponsor Cuadrilla Resources, hit the road.

Three businesses have secured five nominations in different categories at the awards, they are Preston ‘fun experts’ Sunshine Events, Morecambe-based sexual health clinic Better2Know and The Flavour Warehouse, an electronic cigarette specialist from Blackburn.

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If you want to give your business a bigger competitive edge, enter the BIBAs today.

Closing Date: 27th March 2020