Work to develop the Lancashire Enterprise Zone, is likely to start before the end of the year, it has been revealed.
The Enterprise Zone is earmarked for two sites - next to BAE Systems in Samlesbury and Warton.
And a £12.4m government grant to kick start the project means that detailed designs of the infrastructure can begin, along with a ground cut at Samlesbury by the end of the year.
The news comes just weeks after the Government approved the Preston City Deal, which will release millions of pounds to improve the roads and motorway network in and around the city.
The Samlesbury site covers 72 hectares, and the Warton site 74 hectares. A development agreement has been established between BAE, the county council and two development companies.
As well industrial units the zone will also provide a regional training academy as part of a collaboration between industry, academia and the county council.
Around 20 companies have already expressed an interest in coming to the zone, with the emphasis on advanced engineering and manufacturing.
The Lancashire Enterprise Partnership believe the zone could generate up to 6,000 jobs over its lifetime.
David Baird, BAE Systems’ enterprize zone programme manager, said the new Government funding was great news.
It would allow the LEP to get the infrastructure in place and start the development of the site.
Mr Baird said some companies had already said they wanted to be on site by 2015/16, so there was now a clear timetable.
He said: “We can attract people from all over to showcase what we have.
“We have a great skills base here and a very strong history of manufacturing. There are lot of people already looking at Lancashire as a location.”
Eddie Sutton, county council assistant chief executive, said: “The Enterprise Zone compliments the City Deal.
“Both Samlesbury and Warton are within a few miles of Preston, so the big picture is to make sure that it all links together at the end of the day.”