Fracking bosses have made a pledge to business chiefs in Lancashire that as many contracts as possible will go to local firms.
Cuadrilla Chairman Lord Browne of Madingley has said the company will work with the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce to ensure that businesses will benefit from the opportunities shale gas could bring.
Speaking at the Chamber’s annual general meeting Lord Browne said shale gas offers “enormous potential” for Lancashire and the UK, emphasised the importance of “working together to ensure that Lancashire reaps the rewards of this new industry.”
The Chamber has already secured an agreement with Cuadrilla to develop an online supply chain portal that will enable businesses to find out what opportunities are available and the process needed to tender for any contract.
Running alongside the portal will be series of workshops to help businesses prepare and submit their tenders.
Babs Murphy, Chief Executive of the Chamber and a member of the Northwest Energy Taskforce, said: “If Cuadrilla is successful in obtaining the relevant permissions to continue with their exploration programme, opportunities for local suppliers are likely to start at a modest level, but the scale of this could soon expand if results from the test wells are positive and the company seeks to move to natural gas production in the County.”
Meanwhile the Government has announced it will remove barriers to exploration firms like Cuadrilla drilling under private land to speed up the search for gas and oil.