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An Amazing Accrington initiative to raise the aspirations to work and live locally saw Collette King, HR Director of Studio Retail, and Sara Britcliffe, MP for Hyndburn and Haslingden, visit two local schools to highlight opportunities in the area.

Pupils from St. Andrew’s Primary School in Oswaldtwistle and The Hollins Secondary School in Accrington had two high profile visitors recently: Sara Britcliffe, MP for Hyndburn and Haslingden, and Collette King, HR Director of Studio Retail, the largest employer in the Lancashire area.

The visit was part of a wider initiative by Amazing Accrington to understand young people’s attitudes towards the area and to help them see the wealth of opportunities and career paths open to them.

The respected visitors spent the day finding out what the students think of the area and discussing their suggestions for improvements.

As part of the activities, Studio Retail presented each primary school child with a free pack including England sticker sets, pens and pencils to help them with their schoolwork. At The Hollins, one lucky teenager, Bailey Daly, won a £50 prize draw, also donated by Studio Retail.

Speaking to Year 10 at The Hollins, Sara Britcliffe said:

“We want to make sure you have the opportunity to stay here and be proud of the area, to have the job you want and to recognise what we have here locally. We’re going to make it better for you to live, better for you to work, and better for you to study.”

Collette King added:

“This area is a great place to live. There are a lot of career opportunities here and we’ve got beautiful countryside all around. We are aware of the limitations here for young people, and that’s what we want to discuss.

“We’re keen to work together to see what we can do to improve the area and keep young people here.”

The two ladies are both inspirational characters in their own right having reached the highest positions of responsibility in their respective careers. Sara Britcliffe overcame significant challenges to become the first Conservative MP representing the constituency in nearly three decades, an astonishing achievement at just 24 years old and the youngest female Conservative MP to take office.

Collette King, as HR Director of Studio Retail, has final responsibility for over 2200 colleagues during peak times at Studio Retail. Coordinating that number of people is an enormous challenge.

Amazing Accrington continues to push the agenda around keeping local people in Hyndburn and Accrington, promoting the area, and encouraging the civic pride this beautiful and important region deserves. A new section of the Amazing Accrington website posts education, apprenticeships and job opportunities for school leavers. For more information visit

For more information about Studio Retail visit