Enterprise Zone for Preston


18 April 2011

Fabulous news emerged for businesses looking to relocate or establish themselves in the North West of England as Lancashire looks to take on powers from the North West Development Agency  under a Local Enterprise Partnership.

A business-led shadow board is now being set up including officials from defence giant BAE Systems, energy group Westinghouse, supermarket chain Booths, telecoms giant BT, and Blackpool Tower owners Merlin Entertainment will make up a shadow board, to appoint the LEP’s executive committee.

They will be joined by the leaders of Lancashire County Council, Blackpool Council and Blackburn with Darwen Council as well as two representatives from the county’s 12 district authorities.

County council leader Geoff Driver, has also confirmed the body was preparing to bid into the government’s £1 billion Regional Growth Fund, and to create an Enterprise Zone in the county.

He said: “Our focus has already shifted to scheduling the first board meeting as soon as possible, and we want to work with business to protect and create tens of thousands of new jobs in Lancashire over the next decade, and the LEP will have a key role in making this possible.

“Local councils have been required to lead on the preparations for an LEP, but what must be recognised now is that this is something businesses will lead on once it is up and running.

“It is extremely encouraging that many of the county’s biggest employers are already involved and their continued input, together with the involvement of small and medium enterprise, will be vital.”

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