Pennine Lancashire

In attendance:
Ben Briggs - Lancashire Business View
Francis Bradshaw - Handelsbanken 
Ilyas Munshi – Enterprise 4 All 
Peter Cloney - PPE
Steven Greenhalgh - JJO Plc
Lee Collins – Hillendale Group
Ian Leigh - Napthens
Steve Wilkinson - Pennine Lancashire Enterprise Trust
David Hill - Napthens
Craig Richardson - Dow Schofield Watts
John Green - Pierce Corporate Finance
Mike Damms – East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce
Is Pennine Lancashire being overshadowed by Preston and the funding being allocated there?

David Hill: I worked in Preston for 10 years. I came over here last year to work and it’s quite clear there’s more of an emphasis on public funding going into Blackpool and to the Tithebarn district of Preston than into Blackburn. You have to wonder whether Government views Blackpool as being more deprived than some of the areas of Blackburn or elsewhere in Pennine Lancashire when actually I don’t think they are.

John Green: Our biggest concern is about deprivation and I don’t know if we’re going to change that.

Mike Damms: We’re about the only place in the country where the deprivation is getting worse.

Ilyas Munshi: What needs to happen is a shift in mental attitude to project a more positive image of the area. We’ve got to identify our uniqueness in terms of our offering and that could be through the leisure offering or a combination of things such as education, health provision in the area and our other assets.

Ian Leigh: It’s important not to get hung up on what’s going on in Preston. The challenge faced there or in Blackpool is a lot simpler than the challenges we face in Pennine Lancashire because it is such a large area.

John Green: We should talk ourselves up and be more positive about what we have to offer. Read the full discussion in Lancashire Business View 32.