Northern Powerhouse minister puts Lancashire in the spotlight

The Northern Powerhouse Minister Andrew Percy MP has been undertaking a tour of Lancashire today (Wednesday November 9th) which includes a series of official engagements highlighting Lancashire’s significance within the Powerhouse initiative.

The visit commenced with him addressing more than 200 Lancashire business leaders and stakeholders from across the county at a special Lancashire Enterprise Partnership conference at Burnley Football Club.

Facilitated by Lancashire-born BBC Radio Five Live’s Tony Livesey, the event saw the minister give an update on progress regarding the Northern Powerhouse initiative and highlight the key role Lancashire is set play in helping to boost the economic prosperity of the whole of the North

The Minister was joined at the conference by Councillor Simon Blackburn, leader of Blackpool Council and Chair of the shadow Lancashire Combined Authority, Edwin Booth, chair of the Lancashire LEP, and Jennifer Mein, leader of Lancashire County Council.

The conference also saw the Lancashire LEP become the first Enterprise Partnership in the country to sign-up to the Northern Powerhouse Partnership. By signing-up, the Lancashire LEP will join a diverse range of companies and organisations who have formally committed to work with government to help the North achieve its full potential, including generating new jobs and securing more investment for the whole of the Northern region.

Conference delegates heard about the new Lancashire narrative; a distillation of Lancashire’s key sectoral strengths which will be used to help target and promote new investment opportunities across the county. The narrative, which has been developed after extensive consultation with hundreds of local businesses across the county, is set to be adopted by both private and public sector organisations, and high profile individuals, to convey a unified and bold Lancashire identity - regionally, nationally and internationally – for the first time.

Northern Powerhouse Minister Andrew Percy said: “Building the Northern Powerhouse is central to our plans to create an economy that works for everyone.

“We’re backing the North with the investment and powers it needs to fulfil its huge untapped potential and I’m pleased to see businesses here, working alongside the Lancashire LEP, are pledging their support.”

Edwin Booth, chair of the Lancashire LEP said: “The Lancashire Enterprise Partnership is delighted to be the first LEP in the country to confirm its position as an official Northern Powerhouse partner and to play a full and active role in the Powerhouse initiative. We wanted to take mark this occasion by inviting the Minister to Lancashire so he can see for himself the continuing, credible progress of the Lancashire LEP and partners are making across a wide range of sectors and markets.

“We also wanted to use the Minister’s visit to mark the launch of the Lancashire narrative, a series of clear, engaging messages and themes which capture Lancashire’s world-class offer. The narrative, which has been shaped and driven by the people and businesses of Lancashire itself, is designed to give all partners and stakeholders a succinct, distinctive and compelling Lancashire story which can be used to promote the county’s assets, celebrate its successes, and highlight its investment potential at every possible opportunity.” Following on from the LEP conference at Burnley FC, the minister will undertake a series of engagements which further reflect and reinforce the depth and breadth of Lancashire’s economic strength.