County commits £1m to supporting advanced engineering

Lancashire County Council has launched a new £1m, two-year project to support the aerospace and advanced engineering sectors - two of the industries hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic.

The financial will support 40 aerospace supply chain small to medium sized businesses, help safeguard and create 200 jobs, and bring in £30m worth of revenue into the county.

The support is based around the creation of a The Lancashire Advanced Engineering and Manufacturing (AEM) Watchtower, which will use local industry knowledge to develop a dashboard of the health of strategically important aerospace suppliers as they stabilise, recover and grow.

It will identify organisations that need, and will most benefit from, tailored coordinated business support and will help engage them with the right support at the right phase of the crisis.

The funding is part of the county council's new £12.8m Lancashire Economic Recovery and Growth Fund, which is targeted at tackling some of the economic impacts of Covid-19 and stimulating growth. The project will start in Spring 2021 and run for two years.

Coun Michael Green, cabinet member for economic development, environment and planning said: "We are pleased to support this vital industry in our county which employs around 13,000 people and has been hard hit by the economic impact of Covid-19.

"There has been a temporary collapse in demand for AEM products as a result of lockdowns, which has impacted on the aerospace, automotive and power markets and supply chains. In turn, significant numbers of high value jobs have been furloughed and potentially lost, impacting on our skills base and wealth generating capacity.

"The Lancashire AEM Watchtower project is amongst the first to be approved for funding from the Lancashire Economic Recovery and Growth Fund, which we have launched to take urgent action to help the sectors and occupations in our county most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic."

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