More than 30 business leaders took part in a supporters rally in Blackpool to call on Lancashire County Council to support jobs creation by backing natural gas from shale.
The entrepreneurs are members of the North West Energy Task Force, a coalition of more than 500 businesses and academics from across the region, which believes that natural gas from shale could create up to 64,500 jobs and generate a £33bn supply chain.
In an open letter signed by an additional 120 businesses to Lancashire County Council last week, the NWETF also said: “Tangible benefits are already being felt with the Government announcement for a new £10m national Energy College based in Blackpool, allowing for the training of the next generation of highly-skilled workers in our region.”
The 120 signatories included small, medium and large companies ranging from an antiques shop to a seafood processing company.
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, investment and taxes, I urge all businesses in the region to get behind the development of natural gas from shale.”