Lancashire business leaders show support for fracking in open letter

Babs Murphy

Babs Murphy

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A group of local business leaders have written an open letter to Lancashire County Council, urging them to grant permission for fracking in the county.

The letter, from more than 100 business leaders from across the North West, claims that fracking could create a £33bn supply chain, which will create thousands of jobs and improve local wages.

The county council is set to decide on two applications to drill for shale gas – at Little Plumpton and Roseacre.

The first decision is scheduled to take place on January 28.

The issue has proved controversial, with protest groups springing up and thousands of letters of objection sent to the county council.

Now supporters of the technology say that it could provide a major boost to the area.

The open letter says: “Tangible benefits are already felt with the Government announcement for a new £10m national energy college based at Blackpool – allowing for the training of the next generation of highly-skilled workers in our region.”

Babs Murphy, chief executive of the North and Western Lancashire Chambers of Commerce, said: “Natural gas from Lancashire shale represents an opportunity to boost skilled employment and stimulate our local economy – providing a sound basis for long-term economic growth in the North West.

“In light of what this could mean for jobs, local investment and taxes, I urge all businesses in the region to get behind the development of natural gas from shale.”

Those who are against the idea of fracking, which includes environmental groups like Friends of the Earth, cite safety fears about the technology including the risk of earthquakes and contamination of ground water supplies.