Oscar winning businessman to create high-tech hub

Landmark building

Oscar winning sound engineer and businessman Mark Crabtree is planning a major scheme to support small business in Burnley.

Crabtree, who with his Burnley headquartered company AMS Neve, conquered the world in digital sound engineering, is planning to transform the iconic former Burnley Grammar school into a thriving, hi tech hub for digital SMEs and micro-businesses.

The former Burnley Grammar School pupil is investing a seven figure sum into creating a unique collaborative workspace for digital start-ups, SME’s and allied businesses.

The Landmark Burnley building is set to open its doors to the first wave of digital businesses in September, with impressive plans that will see the historic grade II listed building become the show piece of Burnley’s thriving tech economy.

Crabtree has always resisted the temptation, despite two Oscars, a Grammy and an Emmy, to relocate his company, which dominates the world of sound in cinema, television and music, to London or even Hollywood.

Now Mark is pledging his funds and his unrivalled business experience into feeding back into the future generations of digital businesses.
Work is due to begin on the town centre site next week.

He said: “The Landmark project is a way to help Burnley grow its digital skills base, and for that not to ‘leak’ out to say Manchester but keep the talent and skill in Burnley.

“In the past, people starting businesses used to need money to buy machinery, hence the grants process. Now they need a laptop, an idea and somewhere other than their kitchen table to work.”

The project, which has been over a year in the making, came out of Mark’s role as chairman of the Burnley Bondholders.

Mark’s partner in running the operation of the Landmark space is David Walker, managing director and founder of digital marketing company +24Marketing. Mark and Dave met through the Bondholder network.

Burnley Grammar School dates back to 1559 and the first opened its doors to pupils in the 19th century.

Plans for The Landmark include creating several different “flavours” of accommodation, from oak panelled office space to modern, hi tech, areas with features including a glass atrium linking the old part of the building to the newer areas and a glass lift.