County pushing for growth cash

Geoff Driver, leader of Lancashire County Council

Geoff Driver, leader of Lancashire County Council

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Lancashire is bidding for more cash from a cash pot set up to kick-start job-spinning projects.

The county’s Local Enterprise Partnership is lobbying ministers for further funding from the Growing Places Fund.

It has already been handed a £20m by the Government from the pot to kick-start projects across the county.

Geoff Driver, leader of Lancashire County Council, said he had spoken with ministers about getting more money.

He said: “We have turned the money over and got it out there doing what it is supposed to do.

“The Government has already recognised this, we started out with £12m and that has gone up already.

“We keep saying to Government to give us more and we will continue to use it in the right way.”

At a the council’s budget meeting on Thursday, Coun Driver said he was “very hopeful” the Government would hand Lancashire more cash to it from the £420m fund.

He told councillors that some LEPs had “not spent a penny” of the money they had been handed.

The Lancashire body has already handed out £4m to carry out ground remediation work at the Luneside East scheme at the quay in Lancaster, triggering the start of a development which will see new homes and business space built.

It has also handed cash to develop improvements at the campus at Edge Hill University in Ormskirk and £2m of access improvements at Burnley Bridge Business Park.

There are a further three projects for £3m of highways access in Lancaster Science Park, £2m in the Slater’s Terrace development as part of the Weavers’ Triangle in Burnley and £750,000 of work at the Rossendale Valley Centre, which are ‘priority two’ projects for investment.

There are a further £20m of ‘priority three’ projects including development costs for a proposed business park at Cuerden, near Bamber Bridge, and improvements to the junction at Corporation Street in Preston.