Chasing the big prize: Lancashire Business View examines the green economy

The prize for Lancashire, if it can overcome the skills challenges, is massive. The Local Government Association is forecasting there will be 44,000 green jobs in our county by 2030 – rising to 68,000 by 2050.

That growth in opportunities is already emerging, with more than 600 job vacancies advertised in low carbon sectors of the county’s economy in October and November last year alone.

From nuclear and wind to marine and battery technologies, Lancashire is already home to 5,200 businesses in the energy and low carbon sector.

In the latest edition of Lancashire Business View we ask if the county is ready to take full advantage of this low carbon revolution.

There are strong signs that things are ‘green for go’. An ambitious initiative to put Lancashire at the heart of the low carbon revolution is powering up its efforts to support the innovators.

Meanwhile Lancashire’s colleges, universities and providers are working collectively to build a pipeline of skills aligned with the new needs of our industry base.

We’ve also looked at the increasing importance of sustainability and the Net Zero agenda when it comes to doing business. Green finance is on the rise and Lancashire companies are tapping into it to their benefit.

Also, in this issue we are highlighting the county’s ‘women of impact’ and shining the spotlight on those who are making things happen.

We asked our readers to let us know about the people innovating, pioneering new ways of working, creating new products or services and tackling challenges for the benefit of the business they work in.

From that, we have chosen, with the aid of our special invited panel, a list of 20 who we believe represent the very best values of Lancashire’s inspirational women – ‘the difference makers’.

Family-owned jewellery business Beaverbrooks was shining brightly in 2019 as it celebrated its centenary and the most financially successful year in its history. And then it was 2020.

In our Big Interview, managing director Anna Blackburn, recognised as one of the UK’s best business leaders and most certainly a woman of impact, explains how it met the challenges of the pandemic and the company’s mission to ‘enrich lives’.

Blackpool is the subject of this edition’s Hotspot. The town’s motto declares ‘Progress’ and there are signs of that all around.

Since 2018, more than £350m has been invested in the town, including £100m of government cash. However, as we reveal, ‘levelling up’ remains a massive task.