[Image: Cllr Parkinson, Andy Holt and MP with business and education leaders at Accrington Stanley]
It was an honour to attend the Accrington Stanley game against Leeds last weekend for the FA Cup 4th round. Although the final result wasn’t exactly what we wanted it was fantastic to be part of such a great occasion. It was a wonderful day for the town and shows how the club has evolved and changed under the exceptional current leadership and management.
Whilst at the game I caught up with various leaders in business and education, chairman of the Club Andy Holt and our MP. We all agreed that through working collectively and in partnership the club can go to even greater heights.
I am committed, as Leader of Hyndburn Borough Council, to back the Football club at every opportunity. This is why I have agreed to set up a new working group between Hyndburn Council and Accrington Stanley. This group will also include leaders from all political parties and key businesses and partners. To encourage and establish further growth we need everyone to support the fantastic work that is going on for years to come, this is just one way to do that.
By working with businesses we can generate much needed funding, plus harness the powers of existing funding we have secured such as that from County Council and our Leisure Transformation Project – making sure it is spent in a meaningful way that has impact for residents.
To prosper in the future we need to focus on partnerships. Seeing Accrington Stanley on national TV over the weekend, the crowds that were drawn into the local towns and the pride on everyone’s faces is a driving force for the future. When we look across the border at places like Blackburn and Burnley they have youth zones as part of their football clubs, inspiring the next generation.
I have an ambition to bring this kind of facility and resource to Hyndburn, to make sure every young person has the opportunities they deserve right on their doorstep. This will not only help in our ambitions to improve wellbeing and address inequalities, it will encourage more people to live and work in our borough.
This vision can only be achieved through working together and I look forward to sharing progress updates from the new working group, which focusses on supporting Stanley and their future ambitions.