‘Northern Powerhouse’ chief praises business forum

James Wharton MP (centre) with guests at the launch of the Northwest Asain Business Forum at the Aroma Restaurant.

James Wharton MP (centre) with guests at the launch of the Northwest Asain Business Forum at the Aroma Restaurant.

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The Government minister responsible for the “Northern Powerhouse” visited Burnley to speak at the newly-formed North West Asian Business Forum.

James Wharton MP addressed around 30 members of the business forum at Burnley’s Aroma Restaurant, the second such meeting of the group which was set up recently.

We are very grateful to Mr Wharton for coming to speak at our latest meeting

Ejaz Hussain, Managing director, Burnley Telematics

Mr Ejaz Hussain, the managing director of Burnley Telematics, set up the forum with the intention of helping local businesses to network as well as gain access to government and other support.

Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson and former Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle also attended the meeting, which was sponsored by Natwest Bank.

Mr Hussain said: “We are very grateful to Mr Wharton for coming to speak at our latest meeting.

“We hope to hold meetings at different venues around the area every six weeks and hopefully with different speakers.

“Our members are growing every week and come from all sectors including hospitality, accounting and architecture.

“We hope the forum will create links to regional and national business networks and access to support.”

Mr Wharton spoke about the issue of devolution for the north, the electrification of the East-West railway line and the important role northern businesses can play in Britain’s economy.

Mr Birtwistle said: “At the first meeting we had around 25 business represented, but at this latest one there were 40 so word is obviously spreading. One local business was using a firm of accountants from out of town but the first meeting introduced them to a Burnley firm, which they are now using. This is a good example of the opportunities the forum is creating for Burnley and Pendle businesses. We hope to encourage businesses from other neighbouring boroughs to come on board now too.”