/ News / View from the LEP: City Deal is 'transformational'

I’ve worked in the property development, construction and regeneration fields in Lancashire for many years and believe that this is the most exciting and promising time I’ve ever known for the future of the county.

I was Assistant Director at Hyndburn Borough Council with special responsibility for estates, building control and economic development. I then joined Maple Grove Developments, went on to become CEO of the Preston-based Eric Wright Group and am currently its Deputy Chairman.

I’m proud to also be chair of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP’s) City Deal, the ambitious multi-million pound programme which will be genuinely transformational, not only for the Central Lancashire corridor in terms of new infrastructure, new development land, new jobs and new homes, but also for those conurbations which border the City Deal footprint.

Both the City Deal and other Central Lancashire assets such as UCLan, with an ambitious £200m master plan incorporating a new Engineering Innovation Centre, together with the redevelopment of Preston Bus Station and the Enterprise Zone at Samlesbury are generating significant interest and investment.

They are also helping to create jobs, tackle the skills gap and continuing to attract talent to the region, building on the wealth of successful businesses already located in the area.

Central Lancashire’s success is a key factor in the prosperity of the whole of the county. A well-connected and buoyant Preston and South Ribble is a fundamental part of the LEP’s vision for a better connected and more integrated Lancashire, physically and economically.

The City Deal is also throwing open a wide range of exciting opportunities for developers, investors and business.

For example, the LEP has allocated a £434m City Deal investment fund and needs construction and development firms, and the companies in their supply chain, to help deliver new transport infrastructure, houses, schools, green spaces and public realm improvements.

As part of the LEP’s programme of business engagement, we will be hosting an event on Tuesday 23 February 2016 at the Bartle Hall Hotel to help businesses understand the range of opportunities presented by the City Deal. I hope to see you there.

Jim Carter,

LEP Board Member, City Deal chair

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