County shines as minister praises united approach to growth and investment

The Northern Powerhouse Minister, Andrew Percy MP, praised how Lancashire’s business leaders, politicians and partners have united together to drive economic growth and inward investment.

Speaking at a special Lancashire Enterprise Partnership conference at Burnley Football Club, attended by more than 200 Lancashire business leaders and stakeholders, the minister was joined by Councillor Simon Blackburn, leader of Blackpool Council and chair of the shadow Lancashire Combined Authority, Edwin Booth, chair of the Lancashire LEP, and Ruth Connor, chief executive of Marketing Lancashire.

She also introduced a new promotional film to support the new #wearelancashire campaign which captured the county’s unique character and key selling points which was very warmly received by the conference delegates and dignitaries present.

Edwin Booth then spoke of how Lancashire was rapidly emerging as a genuine economic force within the Northern Powerhouse and explained how the county had the opportunity to maximise its capacity within key sectors, including aerospace, advanced manufacturing and energy, on a global scale.

Andrew Percy’s address to conference began with some light-hearted observations about being a Yorkshireman hearing about so much Lancashire success and ambition. This was followed by Mr Percy reaffirming Lancashire’s position at the very heart of the Northern Powerhouse initiative, and announcing that foreign investment and job creation across the whole of the North was growing substantiality.

As part of the conference the MP invited the Lancashire LEP to sign-up as the first Enterprise Partnership to become an official Northern Powerhouse Partnership.

After the conference - hailed by many present as ‘just what Lancashire needed’, ‘something to be really proud of’ and ‘the start of something big’ - the Minister undertook a county-wide tour which took in several key Lancashire economic locations.

He then proceeded to Blackpool, where he visited the site of Blackpool’s Energy HQ at the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone, before travelling to UCLan in Preston where he met with students and academics who have worked on a number of hi-tech engineering projects. At UCLan the Minister also was asked to cut the first turf on the site of UCLan’s new £30m Engineering and Innovation Centre.

“At every stage of the Minister’s visit this spirit of unity and pride clearly came across, and from Burnley to Blackpool everyone involved worked together for the greater good of the county.” “We now need to push on from this and we’ll be encouraging all Lancashire businesses and stakeholders to embrace the new Lancashire narrative and become proud ambassadors for the county, regionally, nationally and globally; reinforcing the work that we, the LEP and all our partners have undertaken to get us to this key stage, and driving further growth and prosperity for the county.”

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