ACCRINGTON makes its position worse by "talking itself down", Hyndburn's Business Development Officer Vladimir Pejcinovic told a forum of community leaders.
In a bid to counteract a wave of negative criticism, he told Woodnook Forum for Action: "The outside world has confidence in Accrington.
"It is seen as a good place to do business.''
Mr Pejcinovic said it was time to talk-up the town and recognise what was happening.
He went on to list all the positive aspects of the town, naming:
- A Swiss bank's confidence in the town made it buy the Arndale for £38M.
- Fifteen million pounds was earmarked for West Accrington and a further £7M for the new primary care trust centre.
- Plans from Globe Enterprises for a mixed office/retail/residential redevelopment off Platt's Lodge, which would have a ripple effect on neighbouring Woodnook.
- A further half-a-million for a cycleway at Platt's Lodge and £330,000 spent on remodelling Broadway.
- Accrington featured high in the league of the nation's town centres, coming 251st out 1,672, and more than 90 per cent of town traders were doing moderately well to very well.
- Unemployment figures were very low at 1,172, and the town was also winning on environmental issues.
- A million had been invested in the Old Tannery on Eastgate and another million would give the Market Hall a facelift.
Mr Pejcinovic stressed there was also realistic potential for yet another industrial revolution in the town.
He said Accrington had already successfully faced the demise of the textile industry by diversifying. But it faced a shortage of affordable freehold industrial land, causing a barrier to business growth.
However, town leaders were rising to the challenge, realising that the production of ideas would be more valuable than the manufacture of products.
He said Accrington was at the axis of local motorways, where there were great plans for thousands of new jobs in an industrial park dedicated to technological and intellectual skills.
He stressed that skill levels across the borough had to improve to fulfil the development potential. As a result, he said, this would lead to better productivity, meaning more pounds and pence in local pockets.
Woodnook Forum member Councillor Tony Dobson supported the positive view of Hyndburn. He said their area, and others, would also benefit from the possible development of a university and racecourse.