Burnley is a market town in Lancashire, England, with a population of 73,021. It is north of Manchester and east of Preston, at the confluence of the River Calder and River Brun.
The town is partially surrounded by countryside to the south and east, with the smaller towns of Padiham and Nelson to the west and north respectively. It has a reputation as a regional centre of excellence for the manufacturing and aerospace industries.
The town began to develop in the early medieval period as a number of farming hamlets surrounded by manor houses and royal forests, and has held a market for more than 700 years. During the Industrial Revolution it became one of Lancashires most prominent mill towns; at its peak it was one of the worlds largest producers of cotton cloth, and a major centre of engineering.
Burnley has retained a strong manufacturing sector, and has strong economic links with the cities of Manchester and Leeds, as well as neighbouring towns along the M65 corridor. In 2013, in recognition of its success, Burnley received an Enterprising Britain award from the UK Government, for being the "Most Enterprising Area in the UK". For the first time in more than fifty years, a direct train service now operates between the towns Manchester Road railway station and Manchesters Victoria station, via the newly restored Todmorden Curve, which opened in May 2015.
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