Statement by the Leader of the Council about Investment Zones

Lancashire has been included in a shortlist of areas where the Government is considering establishing a number of Investment Zones.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng, earlier today outlined his financial plans in a ‘mini budget’.

One of his flagship policies is the introduction of Investment Zones to grow the economy, and he has said that the Government is in discussion with 38 local and mayoral combined authority areas in England.

Lancashire has been confirmed as one of the areas which is being considered as a possible location.

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In response to the announcement, County Councilor Phillippa Williamson, leader of Lancashire County Council, and Chair of Lancashire Leaders, said: “We are delighted that Lancashire has been included in the initial wave of Investment Zone discussions given the opportunities that it will bring to attract further investment, unlock development and economic activity boosting jobs and growth to our county through a targeted approach.

“There is massive potential across Lancashire and we are ready to move at pace using our existing development pipeline as well as new, ambitious opportunities including those aligned to the development of our historic new ‘Lancashire 2050’ strategy.

“In all, our current pipeline of major development and infrastructure projects has an estimated value of more than £20 billion and we are at an advanced stage of developing further strategic investment opportunities with a wide range of national and regional partners.

“Some of these are reflected in the recent £320m Levelling Up Fund bids made for the county to deliver a diverse range of priorities and attract further investment. This included the County Council setting aside a dedicated £5million Leveling Up Investment Fund in support of our district partners and wider council ambitions.

“With our partners, Lancashire continues to direct investment to unlock growth, jobs and opportunities from Eden Project North in Morecambe to Chorley in the south and from Blackpool and West Lancashire through central Lancashire and our strategic growth corridors including Hyndburn, Burnley and Pendle to the east, whilst cementing Lancashire’s strategic central place in the North West Cyber ​​Corridor.

“Lancashire benefits from four Enterprise Zone locations including Samlesbury Enterprise Zone, which under the County Council’s leadership, is rapidly developing as a high-quality base and home to world-class businesses in cutting-edge innovation, technology and advanced manufacturing.

“Samlesbury has also been identified as the preferred location for the National Cyber ​​Force, which gives Lancashire a once in a generation opportunity to become the most data-aware and data-mature economy in the UK which will bring huge opportunities to our people and businesses .

“We are very much looking forward to working with the Government on the development of Investment Zones and to the benefit it will bring Lancashire.”

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