Lancashire redefining innovation

Whatever the form or function of our creations, Lancashire can be rightly proud of an amazing pedigree for invention, ingenuity and innovation. The businesses based here not only excel at having bright ideas, but also know how to convert those ideas into burgeoning enterprises.

Lancashire is number one in the UK for advanced manufacturing, employing over 85,000 specialists in the manufacturing and engineering sector with 3,500 of those employed in the automotive industry. However, manufacturing in Lancashire runs broader and deeper than simply the automotive sector. The area is home to a diverse spectrum of makers and technologists including Paccar, Westinghouse, Oscar winners AMS Neve, top 100 ‘Cool Brand’ recipients Graham & Brown and companies such as Panaz (Smart Fabrics), The Surface Print Company (wallcoverings) and Senator (one of Europe’s largest office furniture suppliers).

The county is also home to the Lancashire Advanced Manufacturing and Energy Cluster.

Four Enterprise Zone sites at Samlesbury, Warton, Blackpool Airport and Hillhouse, which together combine to provide a world class offer to investors and occupiers in the advanced manufacturing, energy and engineering sectors. The cluster has the potential to generate 10,000 new high value jobs and ensure Lancashire builds on its position as one of the UK’s leading centres of excellence in advanced manufacturing and energy.

We have the potential to become a global leader in the development of Small Modular Nuclear Reactors. Over 37,000 people are employed in the power generation sector, with the sector receiving strong support from Lancaster University and UCLan, both of whom have internationally recognised centres of excellence in energy and environmental studies. Green technologies and alternative sources of oil and gas are also recognised as being of importance to Lancashire.

We have a vibrant, growth-driven digital and creative sector that’s quickly becoming a central pillar of our economy. For example, Burnley is recognised as one of the UK’s fastest growing local digital economies, and with Lancashire home to over 400 creative and digital companies in the area making an annual GVA contribution of £700m – plus many more on our doorstep at Media City – we can boast leading players in design, fashion, film, media and broadcasting.

In terms of emerging industries, our strengths lie in health innovation, including digital health, digital technologies including big data and business process outsourcing. Importantly, existing sector strengths in food manufacturing, the visitor economy and the financial and professional service sectors all remain critical to Lancashire’s employment and productivity levels.