Powerhouse minister praises Lancashire's 'shop window'

MP Jake Berry has said Lancashire can make a big contribution to the Northern Powerhouse, praising the county's unified presence at the MIPIM UK property expo.

A delegation of more than 20 public and private sector representatives exhibited and gave talks under the 'We are Lancashire - the Place for Growth' banner.

With 3,000 investors, developers and government agencies from 45 countries in attendance, the two-day event is the largest of its kind in the UK.

And Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry spoke about Lancashire's delegation having a huge impact.

He said: “Here at MIPIM I’ve been talking about the huge contribution that Lancashire can make to the Northern Powerhouse, and about the huge amount of international investment we can bring into the North of England.

"As a proud Lancastrian, and a proud Lancashire MP, I’m delighted that our great county is represented here at MIPIM. We are putting the wonderful things we have to offer in Lancashire into the shop window, for international investors to come and buy.”

In addition to having a very visible presence in the exhibition area, the We Are Lancashire delegation, led by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and managed by Marketing Lancashire, hosted a series of special business showcase events and presentations.

These focussed on a range of developments and initiatives across the county which offer massive investment opportunities, and are set to generate thousands of jobs, driving significant economic growth.

Topics under discussion included Lancaster University's contribution to the city's booming infrastructure, property and business investment,  and its £41m Health Innovation Campus.

Also under the spotlight was the mixed-use Cuerden development in South Ribble part of the City Deal which was recently granted planning permission an hopes to generate £241m per year to the central Lancashire economy.

Lancashire’s MIPIM UK delegation was led by David Taylor, chair of UCLan and vice chair of the Lancashire LEP.

David, who also headed Lancashire’s first presence at MIPIM International in Cannes earlier this year, said: “Our collaborative and pragmatic message about how the private and public sector are working together in Lancashire to deliver developments of quality and scale resonated well with investors, developers and policy-makers at MIPIM UK.

“We are increasingly being known as a region where we collaborate and make things happen and where investments such as the City Deal and Growth Deal produce tangible benefits and positive outcomes for our economy.

“The Northern Powerhouse Minister also recognised how, by coming together under one unified banner we have the opportunity to showcase Lancashire’s incredible assets."

In addition to opportunities set to be generated through a thriving Lancaster and the £450m City Deal, the We Are Lancashire delegation promoted a wide range of other Lancashire assets.

These included the emerging masterplan for Blackpool’s Airport and Hillhouse Technology Enterprise Zones, which were the focus of a presentation by representatives of Mott MacDonald, while housing and development opportunities in Pennine Lancashire were also discussed at a special session. Additional key schemes highlighted included the Engineering and Innovation Centre development at the University of Central Lancashire, Blackpool and the Fylde College’s Energy HQ, Preston’s £50m Market Quarter scheme, Burnley’s Vision Park, and the £32m Northlight project at Brierfield Mill.