Lancashire gets £70m growth boost in new Powerhouse drive

new edwinLancashire was today handed almost £70m to deliver more jobs, homes and economic growth as part of a major investment by the Government in the Northern Powerhouse project.

The county’s enterprise partnership (LEP) has received one of the largest Growth Deal investment packages in the UK.

The £69.8m has been allocated to drive a host of new infrastructure, skills and regeneration projects across Lancashire.

Priority projects set to be kick-started by the cash include:

  • The Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre NW based at the Lancashire Aerospace Enterprise Zone at Samlesbury. The LEP is working with Sheffield University to drive world class productivity and innovation gains through key SME supply chains.
  • South Lancaster Housing Growth initiative. Ambitious housing growth plans with ‘Garden Village’ status linked to the expansion of a world class university, with both elements underpinned by major transport infrastructure improvements.
  • A 21st Century Conference Centre and Hotel in Blackpool. The development at the Winter Gardens that will enable Blackpool to re-establish its presence as a leading national conference destination.
  • North West Burnley Growth Corridor. This development will unlock new housing and employment growth opportunities in Padiham and link with new flood defence proposals.
  • Pennine Gateways in Blackburn with Darwen. Key transport infrastructure improvements at gateways to the M65 at junctions four, five and six of the motorway will improve the commercial deliverability of a range of housing and employment growth sites
  • Lomeshaye Industrial Estate Extension. Growth Deal investment will support the extension of one of East Lancashire's largest strategic employment sites within the M65 industrial corridor.
This latest award of ‘Local Growth Funding’ is on top of £251m of Growth Deals funding already awarded to the LEP.

The LEP says the total investment could see up to 11,000 jobs created, 3,900 homes built and £1.2bn attracted in extra investment over the next five years.

Edwin Booth, who chairs the LEP, said today: “The Government has challenged all regions to be bold and ambitious with regards to bids for funding, but also demanded that delivery is managed in a rigorous, accountable and impactful manner.

“Lancashire has proved with previous large scale funding projects, such as the City Deal and earlier Growth Deals, that it has the ability to effectively utilise public money to leverage significant private sector investment.

“We have also demonstrated to government our ambition, appetite and capacity to become a key economic force within the Northern Powerhouse.”

And Graham Cowley, who chairs the LEP’s Growth Deal Management Board, added: “The key priority investments secured through this Growth Deal allocation are set to create thousands of new jobs and homes across Lancashire through a diverse mix of major industrial and infrastructure schemes.

“Initiatives like the AMRC at the Samlesbury Aerospace Enterprise Zone reaffirm Lancashire’s position as the UK’s leading region for aerospace and advanced manufacturing activity, meaning we can continue to compete on a global scale for more advanced engineering and manufacturing contracts.

GD3 Winter Gardens conference centre Blackpool“In contrast, the new £38m Winter Gardens complex in Blackpool will create a world-class business tourism destination at the heart of the UK’s most popular coastal resort.

“In terms of improved connectivity we have also secured significant backing for several ambitious transport plans, including the reconfigured Junction 33 on the M6 which will spearhead a major housing and road scheme for south Lancaster, creating a new connection between the University of Lancaster and Lancaster city centre.”

Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid, said today: “As part of efforts to deliver an economy that works for everyone, the Government is equipping local people with the resources they need to drive forward local growth. “That is why we’re giving £69.8m of new money to Lancashire to give businesses the support and opportunities they need to achieve their potential – on top of the £251m we have already awarded.”