South Ribble leading the way on growth
New figures show that South Ribble is leading the way in economic growth in the North West.As many jobs were created in South Ribble as in Manchester and Liverpool combined over an eight-year period, international auditors Grant Thornton have revealed. It puts South Ribble at the top of the tree for job creation in the North West and in 16th place out of 324 regions across the country.
This is underpinned by recent figures from the Business Register Employment Survey, which showed that South Ribble enjoyed by far the highest growth of employee numbers in Lancashire in the last five years, with a rise of 11.6%.And the future for job creation in South Ribble looks bright too, with locations such as the government-backed enterprise zone at Samlesbury and the Cuerden Strategic Investment site, among others, identified under South Ribble Borough Council’s local plan for significant employment use in the next 10 years.
South Ribble’s economy has also shown great resilience in recent years. The biggest blaze in Lancashire in a decade ravaged and destroyed Lancashire Business Park in Farington in December 2011. Rather than fall into dereliction, the site was immediately rebuilt and repopulated, in a clear demonstration of the high demand for commercial space in South Ribble.Businesses moving into the borough benefit from excellent transport links, the existing highly-skilled workforce and support from the council, through economic development activities such as networking events, start-up support and help with finding the ideal commercial property.
South Ribble Borough Council’s cabinet member with responsibility for regeneration, leisure and healthy communities, councillor Phil Smith, said: “We’ve been saying for a long time that South Ribble has been weathering the economic storm better than most, and these remarkable figures suggest that has been an understatement. They show that South Ribble is already at the heart of the North of England’s economic powerhouse, and we can be even stronger in the future through working with businesses and our partners to support growth.“Development will fund improvements in the hearts of our towns and villages, as well as paving the way for ambitious projects like our huge new ‘Central Park’, which will help to maintain the green and pleasant nature of our borough. Managing our growth in such a co-ordinated way will help to maintain South Ribble as a first class place to live, work and play.
“South Ribble is very much open for business, with a thriving commercial community and sites identified for companies to develop and grow. There are many more exciting opportunities on the horizon, with the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal bringing forward 30 years of growth in the next decade. It will provide infrastructure to unlock the development potential of key sites, so we can look forward to thousands more jobs being created in the borough over the next few years.”