Gordon Marsden has hit out at the Government saying they were trying to pass off Blackpool’s energy college as “fracking central”.
Instead, the Blackpool South MP insisted that despite Government’s £5.6m announcement last week about the Squires Gate-basedNational College for Onshore Oil and Gas , the college to be built at the airport would be focussed on a wide range of energy issues.
He said: “All investment in Blackpool and the enterprise zone is welcome but it needs to be made much clearer that the energy college is not simply going to look at issues to do with shale gas as the Government has tried to portray it.
“It is a college for which funding has been more broadly given, via the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, and so onshore oil and gas is merely one part of the work of the energy college.
“Additionally, onshore oil and gas should cover existing, tried and tested, conventional means of extracting oil and gas and not simply the controversial shale gas proposals. I have been assured by the college authorities, it will cover a much broader range of energy options such as wind, solar, biomass and other renewables.
“It would be madness to have a major energy college on this site for Blackpool solely focussed on one particular type of energy whether controversial or not. I will be monitoring carefully that the development of the energy college reflects the assurances we have been given and the broader needs of training across Blackpool and Lancashire.”