Welcome to your Lancashire

With so much change happening at the county council we want to share with you what we are doing to support and stimulate Lancashire¹s economy.

Myself and Chief Executive Phil Halsall have been addressing Lancashire businesses at events with the Chamber of Commerce.

The events raised topical questions/debate.
We spoke in-depth about the challenges of creating a Lancashire Local Economic Partnership (LEP), and how SMEs need to feel they are more represented in this process. We have been working diligently behind the scenes to set up a pan- Lancashire LEP.
We firmly believe one body is the best mechanism to represent the interests of all Lancashire people.

Local businesses want to know why the county council doesn¹t buy more from them. To support business growth, we re-thought our Rosebud business solutions package. The refreshed product offers more flexible finance ¬ from £2,000 to over £1 million ¬ alongside customised business development support. Created by our wholly-owned company Lancashire County Developments Limited (LCDL), this fund is targeted at start-up enterprises, business expansions or relocations to the county.

LCDL provides all the county council¹s economic development services and delivers our economic strategy. The strategy targets a number of high growth sectors ¬ advanced manufacturing, innovation and intellectual property, design and digital, low carbon energy management and waste recovery ¬ where our involvement will have the most impact. Our approach is designed to unlock high value enterprise in Lancashire and help to attract and create sustainable employment in the private sector.

We want to build a superfast broadband network by 2014 (with funding from other public sector partners, European pots and private investors).Improving the county’s infrastructure is a vital example of how government can work with private enterprise, bringing dual benefits to both commerce and consumers, by speeding up the rate of technology adoption. Meanwhile, our new strategic partnership with BT will help us make huge efficiency savings and bring new jobs to the county.

Playing our full part in the local economy ¬ shoulder to shoulder with the Lancashire business community ¬ is the best hope for ensuring a high level of private sector job growth. Our conviction that both SMEs and larger employers hold the key to our future prosperity means we are ready to work with and learn from Lancashire¹s entrepreneurs.

Geoff Driver
Leader, Lancashire County Council