Category Archives: Accrington


The Amazing Accrington Christmas Lights Switch On in Accrington Town Centre has been confirmed for the evening of Thursday 24th November, proudly sponsored by amazing local businesses North Lancs Training Group (NLTG)Sundown Solutions and the Nelson and Colne College Group.

Hyndburn Borough Council ran a tender bid for the event, which was awarded to Scott Dawson Advertising to be run through Amazing Accrington. Working in conjunction with Accrington Market and Hyndburn Borough Council, plans are in place for a spectacular family friendly start to Christmas, including a music stage, live acts, interactive entertainment, a firework display and fairground rides.

Amazing Accrington are also looking to engage with all 36 local Primary Schools ahead of the return of the Christmas Light Switch On, and will be inviting them down personally to join in the show led by St Christopher’s Sixth Form choir.

The event will also provide the opportunity to celebrate local independent retailers, while charities have the chance to run a free stall outside Accrington Market Hall as last year and should contact Sameena at the Market Hall to make their application.

Murray Dawson, chair of Amazing Accrington, said: “After the huge success of last year, we are back to give everyone the opportunity to enjoy a spectacular night of fun and entertainment with the whole community. We have lots of plans in the pipeline and lots more to announce!”

Sara Britcliffe, MP for Hyndburn and Haslingden, added: “I encourage the whole of Hyndburn to turn out for this amazing event, and let’s see if we can beat last year’s numbers of over 12,000 and come together to celebrate once again!”

Cllr Miles Parkinson OBE, Leader of Hyndburn Borough Council, commented: “Amazing Accrington are so professional and know how to make events go with a bang, and we are so happy that they start this year’s Christmas events with Accrington’s Christmas Lights Switch On following on from last year’s amazing event.

Once again it encourages everyone to shop local – get some Christmas shopping done while you’re having fun!”

Gareth Lindsay, Managing Director at North Lancs Training Group (NLTG), said: “We love these big events, it gives us a chance to interact with the whole community. The plans sound very exciting, and we’re proud to support them!”

Heath Groves, CEO of Sundown Solutions, added: “Last year’s event was a real spectacular and we’re happy to support it again. We encourage people to come down with all the family and have some fun!”

Morag Davis, Centre Principal for Accrington & Rossendale College, commented: “We’re really looking forward to feeling the Christmas cheer, and seeing the whole of Hyndburn out in force celebrating together. The plans look fantastic!”

Further details will be announced about attractions and performers. You can watch a video of last year’s Amazing Accrington Lights Switch On event here: 

Keep an eye on the Amazing Accrington website and social media channels for further updates.


A number of business leaders have pledged funds to support the development of a new East Lancashire Freight Rail Terminal on the site of the former Huncoat Power Station.

Plans have now moved up a gear including the appointment of a project consultant and an economic feasibility study which is expected in draft 1 by the end of June. The study will investigate the economic case and the rail case, establishing the facts of the great benefit to the region and the private sector development opportunity.

Businesses pledging money to the project include Just Taps, Coach House, First Tunnels, Cardboard Box Company, Emerson & Renwick, Globe Enterprises, Hyndburn Borough CouncilNorthwest LogisticsSundown SolutionsWitch GroupScott Dawson AdvertisingLangtecHML Recycling and Fagan & Whalley.

The project, which could create 2,825 jobs in the local area, has also received support from MP for Hyndburn and Haslingden, Sara Britcliffe, Chief Executive of East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Miranda Barker and Chair of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Debbie Francis OBE.

#Amazing Accrington, a collaboration of businesses, public sector and 3rd sector organisations from within Accrington and the surrounding towns within the borough of Hyndburn, are committed to bringing positive changes to the area and the development provides a very real opportunity to do so, tying into levelling up plans, giving an economic boost to the region, as well as creating cost, resource and carbon savings for businesses.

The historic Huncoat site has disused freight rail sidings, with the surrounding land already designated for future rail freight development. It is ideally located in the centre of East Lancashire’s industry, engineering and aerospace, in between the existing rail and road network. The site covers 22 acres, with an estimated £200 million to develop, which would involve private sector investment.

Debbie Francis OBE, commented: “This is a business project which I have been staying very close to, providing advice from the rail sector and the feasibility study will provide an extremely interesting read.

“I am keen to build and improve corridors of transport in the north, and the LEP fully supports this project and its exciting plans.”

Miranda Barker, said: “Regionally this is an unbelievable opportunity for everyone, especially our local businesses and we are doing everything we can to help push on these plans, which will have a hugely significant impact on the North West for decades to come.

“It gives our businesses the opportunity to move their goods in a more cost effective, competitive and less environmentally damaging way, but also be part of the supply chain to build the infrastructure, and that is unlocking the potential of East Lancashire and its industry, not just for the North West, but for the UK as a whole.”

Sara Britcliffe MP, added: “The employment opportunities which would come from this project would be unbelievable for our borough and it could transform so many people’s lives, from businesses to our children.”

Murray Dawson, Chair of Amazing Accrington and MD of Scott Dawson Advertising, commented: “Freight rail is estimated to treble by 2050 and with our amazing businesses needing room and the opportunity to grow, we need to facilitate that. We can’t thank everyone enough who has pledged financial support for the feasibility study.

“It’s also extremely important to remember that it’s not just core businesses who use freight who would be affected – all businesses benefit from the future economic success of our region.”

You can learn more about the project and its plans here: 

Stanley’s big shirt giveaway a huge success for fifth year running

Accrington Stanley’s first team squad handed out shirts as part of their shirt giveaway to Year 3 children from Hyndburn schools at the Wham Stadium on Tuesday morning.

The annual big shirt giveaway also saw the children receive a goodie bag sponsored by Studio and North Lancs Training Group (NLTG), including a free match ticket, crayons, a lunch box and picture of the first-team squad.

Taking place for the fifth year running and back at the Wham following slightly altered plans for the 2020 event due to COVID-19, the youngsters got the chance to meet their favourite players and see the pitch up close, having their pictures taken in the Studio Family Stand.

The shirts were generously sponsored by Studio and the Official Accrington Stanley Community Trust.

Manager, John Coleman, said: “It’s always a day in the calendar that we look forward to and so do the players.

“It’s a fantastic initiative and something that has been going for five years. If we can capture the children’s imagination and get them involved in Stanley, it bodes well for the future.”

Coleman added: “The idea of giving the children a replica shirt is fantastic and it gives them an identity. For a lot of people it’s difficult to justify being able to get their child a replica top and I think this is a great gesture by Andy Holt. I hope it captures the imagination of these kids and in 10-15 years’ time they’ll be here cheering us on or even playing for us.”

Chairman and owner, Andy Holt, said: “It’s an event that I’m particularly proud of. It’s probably the best thing we do as a Club and I promise to do it every year I’m involved with the Club, it’s fantastic.”

Stanley’s most famous fan David Lloyd, otherwise known as Bumble, said: “It’s a marvellous time of the year and there’s one thing that I’m really looking forward to… and that is one day boys and girls will have that football shirt on and they’ll be representing Accrington Stanley at the Wham.”

Paul Kendrick, CEO of Studio, said: “It’s a fantastic way to get new followers into the Club from the outset, get them passionate about Accrington and we’re really happy to get involved in it.”

The Club would like to thank all the sponsors who helped make this amazing event a huge success – The Official Accrington Stanley Community Trust, StudioNorth Lancs Training Group and What More UK.

Also, the Club would like to thank Scott Dawson Advertising for organising the event and preparing the goodie bags, alongside volunteers from the Official Accrington Stanley Supporters Trust.