Vince Cable visits Lancashire

Vince Cable visited Lancashire to pay his compliments to two Lancashire businesses and the Regenerate Pennine Lancashire programme.

Lucite International which designs, develops and manufactures acrylic-based products was awarded £2.2m in the second round of the Regional Growth Fund. The project, to install a fourth production line facility at the company’s Darwen plant, will protect and create a total of over 190 jobs with an additional 60 jobs created in the wider supply chain.

The business secretary also visited engineering firm WEC Group, which has benefited from Regenerate Pennine Lancashire support.

Regenerate Pennine Lancashire has been awarded £7.5m from the fund in round two to help manufacturing enterprises in Lancashire. The funding is expected to create 3,000 jobs in the county’s supply chain and help firms to bring forward investment for expansion projects.

Vince Cable said: “It was a pleasure to meet staff at Lucite International and see the construction of their new production line. I am confident that their new facilities will help them expand their UK production and create more jobs for the area – key objectives of the Regional Growth Fund.

“My visit to WEC Group shows the role that government partnerships can play in helping manufacturing and local enterprise. Regenerate Pennine Lancashire clearly has the right knowledge and expertise to pick those firms that, with a bit of help, can attract private investment and unlock growth for the future.

“The work of WEC Group also highlights the value of a skilled workforce including local apprentices. As they have shown, British manufacturing and quality engineering has a big role to play in domestic and international markets. I wish them every success for the future.”

Lucite International Materials general manager Rowena Sellens said: “This investment reflects Lucite International's commitment to world class competitive manufacturing in our Darwen factory, which will ensure we maintain our leading European market position.”

Regenerate Pennine Lancashire chairman Dennis Mendoros said: “The Regional Growth Fund will enable us to help high-growth businesses like the WEC Group expand. This will allow our businesses to compete on a national and international basis, helping to create new jobs and opportunities for people as a result."

WEC Group Director, Wayne Wild said of the fund: “The £142,000 grant we secured helped us invest in much needed extra capacity which has allowed us to create 40 new jobs in our Laser division and grow the business by more 30 per cent year-on-year.

“Investment is what guarantees sustainability for manufacturing companies, and any initiative aiming at boosting British manufacturing should be praised.”