Lancashire firms and colleges urged to have their say on blueprint for county's economic future

David Taylor, chairman of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership
David Taylor, chairman of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership

Lancashire businesses, colleges, universities, health and third sectors bodies are being urged to go online to have their say on the county’s future industrial strategy.

The Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is currently holding a series of consultations to help draw up the first Lancashire Industrial Strategy (LIS), which will drive productivity, earning power and growth over the next ten to 20 years.

More than 100 people, mostly representing the business community, took part in the latest LIS consultation event, hosted by East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce on June 3.

Stakeholders can now contribute on www.lancashirelep.co.uk by completing a short questionnaire, ahead of the consultation closing in mid-July.

LEP chair David Taylor said: “I want to thank everyone who has taken part in the LIS consultation so far and urge anyone who hasn’t to visit our website and have their say.

“We are very keen to receive views from all sectors of the economy on how the LIS should look. It is of overwhelming importance that all areas and sectors in Lancashire buy into this.

“The LIS presents a real opportunity to identify and propose to Government the most important strategic economic propositions for Lancashire as a place, for years to come.

“If we do this well, we will have taken a key step in helping ensure the success of the future economy of Lancashire, enhanced the credibility of Lancashire with Government and laid the basis for future funding decisions.”

The Government requires all LEPs to draw up a Local Industrial Strategy. It is expected to sign off on Lancashire’s strategy by March 2020.

The national Industrial Strategy aims to support businesses to increase productivity, create better, higher-paying jobs with investment in the skills, industries and infrastructure of the future. It set out to boost productivity and earning power by focusing on five foundations including:

Ideas – including innovation

People – including employability and skills

Infrastructure – including connectivity

Business Environment – including access to finance and entrepreneurial culture

Places – including place-based contribution to productivity, and interaction between places within and outside the LEP area.