The Lancashire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has agreed an expansion to its Growth Deal with the Government which will see an extra £17.2m invested in Burnley and Lancashire between 2016 and 2021.
The Government will work with the LEP to bring together other funding- including the Public Works Loan Board - to support the delivery of this deal. This is in addition to the £233.9m of funding committed by the Government on 7 July 2014. Over the lifetime of its Deal (2015-2021) the Local Enterprise Partnership estimates that up to 8000 new jobs could be created, 3000 new homes built and that it has the potential to generate £280m public and private investment.
The additional proposed projects includes Burnley Visions Park which will maximise the benefits of a new £90m Further and Higher Education Campus by developing a high quality business park, to provide a continuum of business accommodation aimed at LEP priority sectors.
In addition the Government is also committing in principle support for an Advanced Engineering & Manufacturing Exploitation Centre, which will support the strengthening of small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) through access to new technology & innovation for key sectors including for the emerging unconventional oil and gas sector. The funding for this project will be confirmed through future Growth Deals.
The Lancashire Growth Deal is part of a long term plan to devolve at least £12 billion from central government to local economies. The plan aims for every part of the country to be a motor of growth for the national economy – building on the strength of the Lancashire area.
Commenting, Burnley & Padiham MP Gordon Birtwistle said:
“I am delighted to see more government investment in Burnley. The Burnley Visions Park will bring more jobs and businesses into Burnley helping to give us a prosperous future. It will also bring with it the ability to train more of our young people in advanced manufacturing and other high-end businesses which will form the foundation of our future economy.”
“Along with the growth of apprenticeships across Burnley and Padiham, and the growing provision of vocational training for young people such as at the new University Technical College, we are seeing the beginning of a brighter future for our town. After years of neglect, Burnley is growing again and will be at the forefront of the future economy in Lancashire.”
“From 2008, when Centre for Cities was critical of Burnley, we have advanced to be awarded the status of ‘Most Enterprising Area of the UK’. Burnley is becoming a success story we should all be proud of.”
The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:
“A quiet revolution is underway in Burnley and Lancashire and across the country, and Growth Deals signal the end of the culture where Whitehall calls the shots. I’ve seen for myself the difference it makes to give local areas real power over skills, over business support, and over infrastructure spending. I am delighted to announce the expansion of the Lancashire Growth Deal today. The Coalition Government has been relentless in our efforts to sort out the public finances and set firm foundations for growth. Growth Deals help create a stronger economy and a fairer society by boosting local economies, and providing more jobs, better transport and affordable homes.”
The LEP Chair Edwin Booth said:
“We are building a hugely significant economic programme, which will deliver new investment, employment and housing growth opportunities in Lancashire. Today's expansion to our Growth Deal announcement represents a further vote of confidence in the work of the LEP and its local partners."
Tim Webber MBE, Chairman and Chief Executive of Barnfield Construction Ltd said:
"I am pleased to see the hard work of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership and local partners like ourselves has been recognised by the Government. We are committed to working with the LEP to deliver projects that will improve our local communities whilst continuing to make Lancashire a great place to work and invest in."