We Are Lancashire delegation impresses at MIPIM

A delegation of private and public sector partners came together under the We Are Lancashire banner to promote the county to potential investors, developers and employers.

We Are Lancashire MIPIM

The delegation, which was led by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and managed by Marketing Lancashire, exhibited at the two-day MIPIM conference and property expo at London’s Olympia.

MIPIM UK regularly attracts over 3, 000 delegates from 45 countries. These include investment specialists, local authorities, agents, occupiers, architects, planners and government agencies.

Lancashire's party included Lancashire County Council alongside colleagues from Blackburn with Darwen, Blackpool, Lancaster, Burnley, Chorley, Preston and South Ribble. Eric Wright Group and the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) were also part of the MIPIM delegation.

Some of the main themes highlighted included innovation to drive economic growth, the development of a high-level skills base, and the latest inward investment opportunities across Lancashire.

Key assets linked to these themes included Lancaster University’s £41m Health Innovation Campus, and UCLan’s £30m Engineering Innovation Centre, and the Energy HQ facility at the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone.

The role of the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone as part of the wider Lancashire Advanced Manufacturing and Energy Cluster (LAMEC) was also central to the Lancashire pitch. The LAMEC is made up of Lancashire’s four Enterprise Zone sites, the largest number of Enterprise Zones awarded to a single Local Enterprise Partnership.

Situated at Samlesbury, Warton, Blackpool Airport and Hillhouse near Fleetwood, this cluster approach provides a strong industrial focus in world-class development locations, building on Lancashire’s national and international strengths in the aerospace, advanced engineering and manufacturing, energy and chemicals industries.

More details were also revealed about the proposed Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) at the Samlesbury Aerospace Enterprise Zone.

The Lancashire delegation also hosted two special seminars.

On Wednesday a session was held entitled Innovation in Lancashire, which was focussed on Lancashire’s innovation assets and how they will drive existing and future industrial strengths.

Speakers included Melissa Conlon, commercial director, AMRC North West, Andy Walker, head of business growth for Lancashire County Council, Peter Thomas from the University of Central Lancashire and Nick King from Lancaster University.

On Thursday a second panel discussed Investing in Lancashire, looking at the potential of Lancashire’s strategic employment sites and the next phase of Enterprise Zone development.

Speakers included Stephen Young, executive director of growth for Lancashire County Council, Nick Gerrard, growth and prosperity programme director for Blackpool Council, and Denise Park, deputy chief executive of Blackburn with Darwen Council. They were joined by private sector partners including Simon Towers, group managing director, NPL Developments and Karen Hirst, director, Eric Wright Group.

Andy Walker, head of business growth for Lancashire County Council, said: “Lancashire is speaking with one voice about our economic potential. Inward investment opportunities continue to be very well received by investors, developers and property agents at events like MIPIM, reflecting the government’s encouragement for regions to work more closely together, especially with regards to major projects being funded through programmes like the Growth Deal.

“This year we have been very focussed on Lancashire’s capacity to drive growth through innovation, highlighting a number of major assets which are now coming out of the ground such as Lancaster’s HIC and UCLan’s EIC. These will both offer world-class resources and technology that will help put Lancashire at the forefront of fast-growing markets such as health and advanced manufacturing. “The LAMEC, combining the strengths of our four Enterprise Zone sites, and the proposed AMRC facility at Samlesbury, will help embed innovation across all of our priority industrial sectors. That’s a powerful message for both property developers looking to invest, and employers looking to expand their operations, and it’s one that has gone down very well at MIPIM this week.”