For me, Burnley has always been a remarkably special town it has been ever since I first visited it over twenty years ago when I had longed to help regenerate the Weavers’ Triangle.

For me, Burnley has always been a remarkably special town it has been ever since I first visited it over twenty years ago when I had longed to help regenerate the Weavers’ Triangle. Its buildings and communities tell an important part of this country’s history and so when I last came in October 2005 and I learned about Burnley Borough Council’s determination, with local organizations, to forge a new future for the town, I wanted to see if there was any way in which my charities could help. In 1985, I undertook a similar initiative in Halifax, West Yorkshire, where Business in the Community worked closely with the local authority and businesses to help regenerate the town after it had suffered the closure of its traditional industries. This initiative was called a “One Town Partnership” and it seemed to make a substantial difference. Needless to say, I am very keen to see if we can do the same in Burnley...

I am delighted, therefore, that over the last sixteen months real progress has been made. Four of my charities: The Prince’s Trust, Business in the Community, The Prince’s School for Traditional Arts and In Kind Direct have begun working closely with the Council and others in Burnley to help create employment opportunities and work experience placements, and to provide mentors, facilities for young people and support for Burnley’s own charities. At the same time, my Foundation for the Built Environment and my Prince’s Regeneration Trust are contributing to the existing redevelopment plans for the town. The Foundation has been invited to review the Council’s masterplan for regeneration of the town centre and to explore ways in which the Weavers’ Triangle can be brought into the heart of Burnley and given new life. I am convinced that this almost unique collection of 19th and 20th century industrial buildings can play a crucial part in the revitalization of Burnley.

There is much more that could be done and that is why, just before Christmas, I was so pleased when a group representing the Council, the North West RDA, the police and the education authority, together with some local businesses and my own charities came to Clarence House for a summit meeting. My visit next week, to which I am looking forward enormously, is the next step and I hope to see for myself the contribution which my charities are already making and to identify how, working in partnership, we can make even more progress towards giving Burnley the future it deserves.