Progress on Lancashire Enterprise Zone shows the county is playing a full role in Northern Powerhouse
Minister James Wharton visits BAE Systems at Samlesbury
MINISTER for Local Growth and the Northern Powerhouse James Wharton visited the Lancashire Enterprise Zone at Samlesbury, one of two sites making up the Lancashire Enterprise Zone, for a progress update.
The visit was hosted by the leader of Lancashire County Council Jennifer Mein and Graham Cowley, board members of Lancashire Enterprise Partnership and representatives from BAE Systems.
Mr Wharton heard how the LEP is pursuing a 15-20 year development plan to deliver 4,000-6,000 jobs over two sites at Samlesbury and Warton. The LEP is actively engaging potential tenants interested in locating on the Enterprise Zone across Samlesbury and Warton, this included a promotional visit to the Paris Air Show in June 2015 to promote the EZ, supported by BAE Systems, UKTI and the North West Aerospace Alliance.
Local Growth and Northern Powerhouse Minister James Wharton said: “As part of our long-term economic plan we’re determined to back business across Lancashire and this Enterprise Zone offers real opportunities to create thousands of highly-skilled jobs for local people as part of the Northern Powerhouse.
“It’s good to see work underway at the Samlesbury site and hear how BAE’s new training academy will train apprentices that will bring big benefits for the defence industry.”
Overall, the LEP is delivering economic development through a £1bn investment programme which includes the programmes City Deal, Growth Deal, Growing Places and Boost Business Lancashire (see Notes to Editors).
For the visit, the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership provided an overview of progress at 72-hectare Samlesbury, including BAE Systems’ national training Academy via 3D visual fly-through of the facility. The Training Academy is due for completion in 2016 to train current and future BAE Systems employees as well as providing a level of training capacity for its supply chain.
Work by Lancashire County Council on the gateway to the first phase of development at Samlesbury, a new access road off the A59, will be completed in August 2016 and then followed by a further junction access from the A677 and a connecting spine road to the EZ. This is one of a number of significant highways infrastructure improvements by the council across the county.
The minister was also updated on progress at the nearby 75-hectare Warton EZ site where international businesses Accenture and Trescal have located creating 25 jobs. The LEP are working with Central Government and BAE Systems to develop the site further to enable better access and availability of development for potential tenants looking to locate into the area.
The minister heard how Lancashire is ‘No 1 for Aerospace’, with 120 businesses employing over 28,000 in the sector valued at nearly £4bn local GVA generated, and that Transport for Lancashire is driving forward a single transport agenda for Lancashire, to align with an emerging vision for Transport for the North.
Edwin Booth, LEP Chairman says: “The visit was an excellent opportunity to communicate that the LEP has a cohesive plan and is delivering on all fronts and at scale, ahead of schedule.
“We welcome the Minister’s encouragement both for Lancashire Enterprise Partnership to bring forward proposals for economic development and for the county to play a full role in the Northern Powerhouse. A successful Northern Powerhouse needs a successful Lancashire and Lancashire is keen to work within the Powerhouse framework.”
SKV Communications Andrew Spinoza and Richard Bond (0161) 838 7770.
Ruth Connor, Chief Executive, Marketing Lancashire 01772 426452
Tim Seamans, Head of Communications, Lancashire County Council, 01772 530760/ 07584 174952
The Lancashire Enterprise Zone, one of only 24 nationally, will form a centre of excellence for high technology manufacturing, generating wealth-creating benefits for the whole county. Our Enterprise Zone is being developed at two world-class locations – BAE Systems’ sites at Samlesbury and Warton – where we are already gearing up for growth. Up to 6,000 highly skilled jobs will be created directly, plus a further 5,000 to 7,000 in the local supply chain. A number of potential occupiers have expressed an interest about coming on board at either the 72-hectare Samlesbury site or the 75-hectare Warton location, the first of which are moving in during 2015.
The elements of the £1bn investment programme in Lancashire are:
City Deal – a 10 year, £460m plan to deliver 17,000 new homes and 20,000 new jobs by providing critical infrastructure required to unlock housing and development sites. LEP is working with its local and central government partners and the private sector to pool resources, share risk and agree priorities.
· Lancashire Pension Fund has already invested £29.3m in commercial schemes in the City Deal, exceeding the Year 1 target of £10m
· Skills Board is developing a City Deal skills and employment strategy
· Significant work underway to assess the reshaping/provision of new community infrastructure – health, skills and education – a key next step for City Deal partners.
Growth Deal is a 6 year, £250m devolved programme to deliver over 8,000 jobs and 3,000 homes through investment in transformational infrastructure, skills and innovation projects across Lancashire.
The funding award to LEP from Government with a high degree of flexibility and autonomy includes:
· The deal recognizes the strategic importance of the planned Advanced Engineering Manufacturing Technology Exploitation Centre (AEMTEC), which will also be located on the EZ.
· 30 defined projects of which the Board has formally approved 12 (8 skills and 4 transport)
· 6 projects are on site – Bolton Rail Corridor, 2 college schemes, shared space scheme in Preston City Centre, the East Lancashire Cycle Network and the Burnley Pendle Growth Corridor.
Growing Places – £20m loan fund available to private and public sector partners/investors seeking to unlock and accelerate commercial development schemes.
· The first £20m is fully committed, spread over 8 schemes across Lancashire
· two investments fully repaid with all others making agreed payments, with a pipeline of developments in train
· Growing Places has leveraged a further £100m in private/public funding and supporting the creation of 3,000 new jobs and 250 new homes.
Boost – the LEP's Business Growth Hub works with growth-focused local SMEs to secure and broker business support packages to generate new jobs and economic activity. To date, Boost has:
· Engaged nearly 3,000 SME businesses in Lancashire
· Delivered bespoke businesses growth packages to over 1,000 local SMEs
· Outputs will not be fully counted until September 2015, but already 880 jobs have been created with over £10m of new economic activity generated in less than two years
· Boost is the subject of a new 3-year Growth Deal/ESIF funding package to consolidate and strengthen the offer, with the County Council providing £3m in core funding support