£17.2M EXPANSION OF GROWTH DEAL BOOSTS LOCAL PLAN FOR LANCASHIRE ECONOMY
The Lancashire Local Enterprise Partnership has agreed an expansion to its Growth Deal with the Government which will see an extra £17.2m invested in Lancashire between 2016 and 2021. The Government will work with the LEP to bring together other funding- including the Public Works Loan Board – to support the delivery of this deal. This is in addition to the £233.9m of funding committed by the Government on 7 July 2014. Over the lifetime of its Deal (2015-2021) the Local Enterprise Partnership estimates that up to 8000 new jobs could be created, 3000 new homes built and that it has the potential to generate £280m public and private investment.
The additional proposed projects include:
● The Engineering and Innovation Centre at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) campus in Preston. It will deliver an Engineering Transformation Programme to enhance UCLan’s capabilities in knowledge exchange, training and research.
● Burnley Visions Park which will maximise the benefits of a new £90m Further and Higher Education Campus by developing a high quality business park, to provide a continuum of business accommodation aimed at LEP priority sectors.
● Rawtenstall Redevelopment Zone will support the development of a new bus station and a mix of retail, leisure and housing units above one of the retail blocks.
● M6 J28 improvements & Business Growth Centre which will investment in the provision of a start-up / incubation led site at Shady Lane that can provide flexible space for start-up businesses and SME’s adjacent to the new housing development.
● Making Rooms – Lancashire’s first FabLab, a fabrication laboratory which will offer companies, educational establishments and individuals open access to Additive manufacturing technologies along with on-site technical expertise.
● Redevelopment of Brierfield Mill – reviving this historic building and local landmark into a new business and leisure destination
In addition the Government is also committing in principle support for an Advanced Engineering & Manufacturing Exploitation Centre, which will support the strengthening of small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) through access to new technology & innovation for key sectors including for the emerging unconventional oil and gas sector. The funding for this project will be confirmed through future Growth Deals
The Lancashire Growth Deal is part of a long term plan to devolve at least £12 billion from central government to local economies. The plan aims for every part of the country to be a motor of growth for the national economy – building on the strength of the Lancashire area.
The Prime Minister said:
“Giving local communities the power and the money to unlock growth and development and make the spending decisions that work for them is a key part of our long-term economic plan to secure a brighter future for Britain and ensure a recovery for all.
“And this is happening right across Lancashire, with more money announced today for key projects to boost the local economy as part of the multi-million pound expansion of the Government’s Growth Deals.
“And because the money will be in the control of a partnership of local community, business and civic leaders it means it will go on the things that really matter to people and businesses here.
“That is what Growth Deals are all about, backing local people and investing in the infrastructure, housing and skills that will drive forward local economies, create more jobs and opportunities for hardworking people and supercharge all parts of our country.”
The Deputy Prime Minister said:
“A quiet revolution is underway in Lancashire and across the country, as Growth Deals signal the death of the culture where Whitehall calls the shots. I’ve seen for myself the difference it makes to give Lancashire more power over skills, over business support, over infrastructure spending.
“I am delighted to announce the expansion of the Lancashire Growth Deal today.
“The Coalition Government has been relentless in our efforts to sort out the public finances and set firm foundations for growth. Growth Deals help create a stronger economy and a fairer society by boosting local economies, and providing more jobs, better transport and affordable homes.”
The LEP Chair Edwin Booth said:
“We are building a hugely significant economic programme, which will deliver new investment, employment and housing growth opportunities in Lancashire. Today’s expansion to our Growth Deal announcement represents a further vote of confidence in the work of the LEP and its local partners”.
Jennifer Mein, LEP Board member and Leader of Lancashire County Council said:
“The Lancashire Enterprise Partnership and local partners have developed an expanded Growth Deal programme which supports the delivery of Lancashire’s long-term economic plan. The LEP’s approach to supporting schemes that will create jobs and investment in the Lancashire economy underlines the value of local partners working together in pursuit of common objectives”.
Tim Webber MBE, Chairman and Chief Executive of Barnfield Construction Ltd said:
“I am pleased to see the hard work of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership and local partners like ourselves has been recognised by the Government. We are committed to working with the LEP to deliver projects that will improve our local communities whilst continuing to make Lancashire a great place to work and invest in”.