LEP granted additional £17m funding

The Lancashire Local Enterprise Partnership has agreed an expansion to its Growth Deal with the government which will see an extra £17.2m invested in the county between 2016 and 2021.

The government will work with the LEP to bring together other funding- including the Public Works Loan Board - to support the delivery of this deal. This is in addition to the £233.9m of funding committed by the government on 7 July 2014.

Over the lifetime of its deal (2015-2021) the Local Enterprise Partnership estimates that up to 8,000 new jobs could be created, 3,000 new homes built and that it has the potential to generate £280m public and private investment.

The additional proposed projects include the Engineering and Innovation Centre at the University of Central LancashireBurnley Visions Park, Rawtenstall Redevelopment Zone, M6 J28 improvements and business growth centre, Lancashire's first FabLab, and redevelopment of Brierfield Mill.

In addition the government is also committing in principle support for an Advanced Engineering & Manufacturing Exploitation Centre, which will support the strengthening of SMEs through access to new technology and innovation for key sectors including for the emerging unconventional oil and gas sector. The funding for this project will be confirmed through future growth deals.

Prime minister David Cameron said: “Giving local communities the power and the money to unlock growth and development and make the spending decisions that work for them is a key part of our long-term economic plan to secure a brighter future for Britain and ensure a recovery for all.

“And this is happening right across Lancashire, with more money announced today for key projects to boost the local economy as part of the multi-million pound expansion of the government’s Growth Deals.

“And because the money will be in the control of a partnership of local community, business and civic leaders it means it will go on the things that really matter to people and businesses here."

Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg added: “A quiet revolution is underway in Lancashire and across the country, as Growth Deals signal the death of the culture where Whitehall calls the shots. I’ve seen for myself the difference it makes to give Lancashire more power over skills, over business support, over infrastructure spending." The LEP Chair Edwin Booth said: "We are building a hugely significant economic programme, which will deliver new investment, employment and housing growth opportunities in Lancashire. The expansion to our Growth Deal announcement represents a further vote of confidence in the work of the LEP and its local partners."