Viewpoint: Cllr Zak Khan, portfolio holder for economic growth

In my new role on Hyndburn Borough Council’s Cabinet, one of my responsibilities is to lead on economic growth. Over the last few months, I have been working with council officers, businesses and regional experts to set exciting plans in motion.

Our recent triumph in securing millions of Levelling Up funding from the government is a watershed moment. This financial injection is not just money – it is a promise of transformation that will redefine our prospects, and I am honoured to be part of these plans. A domino effect has been set in motion. One of my responsibilities is to push this momentum to benefit all corners of the borough.

We cannot look to a prosperous future for Hyndburn without first gazing to the past; at the journey that has shaped our current community. From the resounding clang of the Industrial Revolution to the entrepreneurial spirit that continues to underpin Hyndburn, we stand proudly as a testament to resilience and progress.

These businesses, big and small, are the heart of our community and I am committed to harnessing their power to grow our local economy, ensuring better outcomes for all. To reinvigorate our Borough and usher in an era of growth.

We are taking prudent measures to put bold economic visions into a tangible reality, most recently seen in the appointment of a new economic development manager. Our officer will take a high-level strategic, co-ordinating and delivery role in all aspects of economic development and regeneration, including employment growth to help make a real change to the Borough of Hyndburn.

We have established new connections with the East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce (a key provider of business support services within the wider business community). As part of a shared ambitious plan for enhancing economic prosperity of the borough we will be co-launching an Economic Prosperity Forum in September. The forum is an ongoing commitment to collaborative, solution-focussed relationships between local authority and the business community. We are also in the process of establishing further schemes in the borough, such as those with the Federation of Small Businesses.

Our ambitions do not end here. I am motivated to listen, learn and engage with businesses. The foundation we are laying is not just a choice – it is our responsibility for future generations.

With future generations in mind, we must ensure our growth is sustainable. Hyndburn is leading the green agenda in our region, establishing a legacy of promoting growth whilst creating a healthier, greener community.

Our location, between the bustling cities of Preston and Manchester, yet surrounded by lush green spaces, is ideally placed for a positive work-life balance. I intend to make sure Hyndburn is firmly on the map and I will work to position us as the place to invest, work and live.

By working collaboratively and with a commitment to outward thinking, we will forge partnerships that build on our past for a future that carves out a new legacy of innovation and sustainable growth.

We are a proud, resilient community. I will continue to promote our borough outwards, regionally, nationally and globally.