originally posted on The Lancashire Post website
Prime Minister Theresa May has included some named Lancashire projects in the latest round of Northern Powerhouse funding, as part of the Government’s wider Industrial Strategy.
No county left behind
Prime Minister Theresa May announced the release of nearly £70 million last week on a visit to the region, reassuring local government representatives and businesses that the county would not be left behind in the competition for devolution investment funding across the North.
The £69.8m, which on top of previous funding could help generate up to 11,000 local jobs, create 3,900 homes and attract £1.2bn in extra investment over the next five years, comes only weeks after Lancashire officially became a Northern Powerhouse partner.
Localised funding for local projects
At least six major projects will get a share of the £70m pledged to Lancashire, and most parts of the county will benefit in some way, according to the LEP which secured the funding. At her first regional cabinet meeting in Manchester, the Prime Minister announced a total of £556m investment in the North, with Lancashire’s allocation one of the largest. Outlines for the main projects to be funded can be found below.
A 21st Century conference centre and hotel at the Winter Gardens to re-establish the resort as a leading national conference destination.
Blackburn and Darwen
Transport infrastructure improvements to the M65 motorway.
Extension of the Lomeshaye Industrial Estate.
North West Burnley
“Growth corridor” to unlock new housing and employment opportunities in Padiham.
Additional funding for the NW Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre at the Lancashire Aerospace Enterprise Zone at Samlesbury.
“…demonstrated our ambition”
Edwin Booth, chairman of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, said of the announcement:
“The Government has challenged all regions to be bold and ambitious with regards to bids for funding, but it has 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.”