Lancashire Enterprise Partnership reports on five years of progress

By Lancashire Business View

10 Mar 2017

The Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has published a report on five years of progress, and its vision for the future.

Entitled ‘Our Achievements’, the report reinforces the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership’s hugely successful track record in securing substantial private and public sector investment to drive growth, to create new jobs and vastly improve the county’s infrastructure.

It includes details of how the LEP has, in just five years, delivered over £1bn of transformational economic programmes across Lancashire which have kick-started over 50 major growth initiatives.

These projects are helping to support the county’s 50,000 businesses who generate almost £28bn per year, confirming Lancashire’s position as one of the most significant economies within the Northern Powerhouse.

Some of the large-scale programmes, secured and delivered by the LEP, covered in the 30-page report include:

The £450m Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal, which is recognised as one of the country’s leading City Deals and which aims to create 20,000 new jobs and 17,000 new homes, £320m in Growth Deal allocations, the largest secured outside the core city regions, which is on track to deliver up to 11,000 new jobs, 3,900 new homes and £1.2 Billion in new private sector investment by 2021 Boost, Lancashire’s high performing business growth hub, which has worked with over 3,000 local SMEs and created over 1,300 new jobs in its first three years The Lancashire Advanced Manufacturing and Energy Cluster programme, based on three Zones across four sites, which is potentially capable of supporting 10,000 new jobs in the advanced manufacturing, aerospace, energy and chemical sectors A major innovation programme anchored by Lancashire’s three leading universities – Lancaster, UCLan and Edge Hill – delivering new centres of excellence to exploit new growth opportunities and lift supply chain productivity levels in priority sectors The £20m Growing Places Investment Fund in eight commercial investments across Lancashire which is helping to create almost 3,500 new jobs, 200 new housing units and almost 500,000 square ft of new commercial floor-space Through a series dashboards and infographics, newly compiled data from the last five years reflect the county’s rising employment rates, improved GVA, higher wages, slower business churn and better education attainment, feature in the report.

Lancashire’s key employment sectors which include advanced engineering, aerospace, energy, chemical, manufacturing, leisure, tourism, and food and drink, are also profiled in detail.

In addition, Lancashire’s rapidly improving transport infrastructure - including details of a wide range of highly strategic, multi-million pound road and rail investments secured by the LEP - and the formation of the LEP-backed Transport for Lancashire initiative – is outlined.

As well as confirming the LEP’s impressive progress since inception in 2011, the report also clearly sets out the organisation’s priorities and targets for the future.

This includes an overarching objective to halve the county’s GVA performance gap with the rest of the UK whilst increasing the number of high value jobs.

Other key LEP commitments laid out in the report include ‘making Lancashire the preferred place to invest driven by agility and competitiveness’, ‘creating a long-term growth environment that is attractive and compelling to new international investors’ and ‘driving and enabling the continual development of local talent, matched to economic opportunities’.

The document also references the new Lancashire narrative, which captures the county’s renewed sense of sense of unity, economic purpose and ambition, that has been developed to address Lancashire’s perceived lack of identify as a high performing and attractive inward investment destination.

Chair of the LEP Edwin Booth said: “The Our Achievements document captures the massive breadth of work that has been undertaken across different priority sectors to help create high value and sustainable jobs, and also documents the huge investments we are making in terms of new roads, housing and infrastructure project to support long term growth as a result of our tough negotiations with government.

“In addition, improvements in skills and education provision, better business support services and new LEP-driven initiatives such as the Transport for Lancashire campaign are included, as are details of how Lancashire’s economy has measurably improved since 2011 in terms of higher productivity, better employment rates, improved education attainment, slower business churn and other performance indicators." The Our Achievements report can be downloaded here.

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