/ News / Lancashire LEP Secures £69.8m Investment from Government

County gets one of the largest Growth Deal funding allocations in the UK to deliver more jobs, homes and economic growth in the heart of the Northern Powerhouse.

The Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) confirmed it has successfully secured a significant multi-million pound investment allocation from government to drive a range of new infrastructure, skills and regeneration projects across Lancashire.

The £69.8m settlement, which is part of the government’s national Growth Deal programme, is one of the largest in the country. Such a substantial funding package reflects the confidence that the government has in the ability of the LEP to deliver effectively and that more investment in Lancashire will help to maximise its pivotal role within the Northern Powerhouse.

The LEP has an impressive track record in successfully delivering other large scale government initiatives (such as the £450m Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal and the previous £250m Growth Deal awards) and its ability to leverage substantial private sector investment to match – and often exceed – its public funding.

The Lancashire LEP has also made considerable progress over the last few years to develop a united, partnership approach to drive economic growth.

Earlier this year the Lancashire LEP revealed that the majority of projects funded by the first £250m Growth Deal were already on schedule or completed, and that Lancashire’s integrated approach to economic development across key priority areas – such as housing, transport, jobs and skills – was having a tangible and positive impact on the county’s economy and the lives of Lancastrians.

Some of the priority projects set to be kick-started by the latest Growth Deal funding allocation, are fully aligned to the LEP’s overarching economic strategy for the county, include:

  • The Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre NW at the Lancashire Aerospace Enterprise Zone at Samlesbury. The LEP is working with Sheffield University to drive world class productivity and innovation gains through key SME supply chains.
  • South Lancaster Housing Growth initiative where local partners are bringing forward an ambitious housing growth plan with Garden Village status linked to the expansion of a world class university, with both elements underpinned by major transport infrastructure improvements.
  • 21st Century Conference Centre and Hotel in Blackpool – a significant development of the Winter Gardens that will enable Blackpool to re-establish its presence as a leading national conference destination, as part of a wider transformation programme to support the economic renewal of the town.
  • North West Burnley Growth Corridor – this development will unlock new housing and employment growth opportunities in Padiham and link with new flood defence proposals.
  • Pennine Gateways in Blackburn with Darwen. Key transport infrastructure improvements at gateways to the M65 (at Junctions 4, 5 & 6) to improve the commercial deliverability of a range of housing and employment growth sites.
  • Lomeshaye Industrial Estate Extension where Growth Deal investment will support the extension of one of East Lancashire’s largest strategic employment sites within the M65 industrial corridor.

This latest award of ‘Local Growth Funding’ is on top of £251 million of Growth Deals funding already awarded to Lancashire Local Enterprise Partnership. This total investment could see up to 11,000 jobs created, 3,900 homes built and £1.2 billion attracted in extra investment over the next 5 years.

Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid, said: “As part of efforts to deliver an economy that works for everyone, the Government is equipping local people with the resources they need to drive forward local growth.
That is why we’re giving £69.8 million of new money to Lancashire to give businesses the support and opportunities they need to achieve their potential – on top of the £251 million we have already awarded.”

Chair of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, Edwin Booth, said: “The Government has challenged all regions to be bold and ambitious with regards to bids for funding, but also demanded that delivery is managed in a rigorous, accountable and impactful manner.

“Lancashire has proved with previous large scale funding projects, such as the City Deal and earlier Growth Deals, that it has the ability to effectively utilise public money to leverage significant private sector investment.

“We have also demonstrated to government our ambition, appetite and capacity to become a key economic force within the Northern Powerhouse, driving sustainable and transformational growth throughout Lancashire which is aligned to both the LEP’s long term strategic priorities and the government’s vision of a resurgent, productive and prosperous North.

“This is why we have been continually successful in securing high levels of government funding to help us unlock the considerable commercial potential Lancashire has to offer, which will be delivered through a combination of infrastructure, skills and enterprise initiatives such as those laid out in our Growth Deal proposals.

We now look forward to working with Government and industry partners to play our full role in delivering the new national Industrial Strategy. ”
Simon Blackburn, Leader of Blackpool Council and Chair of the Lancashire Combined Authority, said: “The LEP and the Combined Authority have worked very hard to develop a prioritised and robust Growth Deal submission which directly supports the Government’s growth objectives, the delivery of Lancashire’s Strategic Economic Plan, and our emerging devolution deal priorities.

“The LEP is starting, rightly, to be recognised as high performing by government, and by other key stakeholders. Confidence in the county’s ability to deliver is rising as we develop a strong and dynamic Combined Authority model which is on schedule to be in place this spring and will further reinforce Lancashire’s reputation as a driver for growth and prosperity. Political, public, private and third sector buy-in to these concepts is also strong and growing. The success of this bid is testament to the virtues of working together across Lancashire.”

Graham Cowley, Chair of the LEP’s Growth Deal Management Board, said:
“The key priority investments secured through this Growth Deal allocation are set to create thousands of new jobs and homes across Lancashire through a diverse mix of major industrial and infrastructure schemes.
“Initiatives like the AMRC at the Samlesbury Aerospace Enterprise Zone reaffirm Lancashire’s position as the UK’s leading region for aerospace and advanced manufacturing activity, meaning we can continue to compete on a global scale for more Advanced Engineering and Manufacturing contracts.
“In contrast, the new £38m Winter Gardens complex in Blackpool will create a world-class business tourism destination at the heart of the UK’s most popular coastal resort.

“In terms of improved connectivity we have also secured significant backing for several ambitious transport plans, including the reconfigured Junction 33 on the M6 which will spearhead a major housing and road scheme for south Lancaster, creating a new connection between the University of Lancaster and Lancaster city centre.”

The LEP’s ability to unlock economic prosperity across the whole county was also recently highlighted when the Minister for the Northern Powerhouse, Andrew Percy, came to Lancashire to see for himself the progress Lancashire is making as a united region. His visit also saw the Lancashire LEP become the first Enterprise Partnership in the UK to become an official partner of the Northern Powerhouse.

The Minister’s visit also coincided with the unveiling of a new “We Are Lancashire” unified positioning and inward investment identity to attract occupiers, developers and investors whilst reaffirming the excellent tourism and quality of life offer which Lancashire has.

To see details of the Growth Deal programme’s investment in Lancashire so far.

Watch the We Are Lancashire inward investment film below.

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