/ News / Advanced manufacturing is a key strength for Lancashire

LEP Board member Mike Damms highlighted the excellence of the manufacturing sector in Lancashire and its importance to the national economy when he spoke at a key debate on the issue recently.

Mike was one of the panellists at the Business Desk’s Big Manufacturing Debate North West at the Graham & Brown Design and Marketing Centre, Burnley. Mike is pictured with Ian Brown, CSR Director of Graham and Brown, at the debate.

He said: “Lancashire is at the heart of the UK, which is the ninth largest manufacturing economy in the world. It is essential to recognise how valuable the sector is to a modern and balanced economy.

“These kinds of events make a vital contribution to showcasing the value of the sector and the undoubted opportunities that it represents.”

Mike has been Chief Executive of the East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce since 1993 and was awarded an MBE for ‘services to business in the North West’.

He says supporting and investing in the advanced manufacturing sector is a key part of the LEP’s ambitious strategic programme to drive economic growth and job creation across the country.

Mike explained: “The sheer size and range of Lancashire’s manufacturing offer, with an astonishing array of world-class and world-leading products, is testimony to the capability and ingenuity of the sector and the people working in it.

“It’s in our blood and those well-honed skills, allied with our innovation, are the reason that Lancashire’s manufacturing sector continues to make such a big contribution to a modern economy.

The LEP has identified advanced manufacturing as a key strength and differentiator for Lancashire.

Mike said: “We are supporting manufacturers across the county, with a range of measures designed to help them grow and to attract inward investment and to cater for the industries of the future.

“For example, the unparalleled four Enterprise Zone sites will consolidate key sectors and employers, providing a platform for inter-sector exchanges and R&D collaboration, while being closely allied to increased investment in training and skills provision.

“Business support, through the Growth Hub, BOOST, has been strengthened with initiatives like the Chamber of Commerce administered Regional Growth Fund which is successfully helping unlock and leverage investment in many smaller manufacturing companies.”

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