Lancashire to bid for enterprise zone cash

Edwin Booth, chairman of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership
Edwin Booth, chairman of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership
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A Lancashire growth body will bid for a slice £59m of cash set up to fast-track its Enterprise Zones, its chairman has said.

Edwin Booth, who chairs the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, has said it will bid into the fund for cash to improve access onto the zone at Samlesbury, near Preston.

The improvements would include improvements to entrance into the site from the A59 Whalley Road.

The zone, which will be based on the site of BAE Systems’ jet-building factory, will offer simplified planning laws, super-fast broadband and tax breaks in a bid to bring advanced manufacturing businesses.

Mr Booth said: “We are hopeful that the government will look favourably on our bid given the strong progress we have already made in preparing for businesses to set up in our Enterprise Zone.”

The cash comes from the Local Infrastructure Fund, a £474m pot set up by Chancellor George Osborne in his Autumn Statement to support infrastructure work to kick-start economic sites.

The LEP, a body made up of business leaders and council bosses from across Lancashire, has claimed the county’s Enterprise Zones will create 6,000 new jobs over the next decade.

It will be based on two sites at BAE’s factories at Samlesbury and Warton.

The body claims it is in talks with 15 companies about moving onto the zone when work begins developing the Samlesbury site next year.