Fylde ‘must get enterprise zone share’

BAE Systems site at Samlesbury where �12.4m is to be invested.
BAE Systems site at Samlesbury where �12.4m is to be invested.
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Blackpool should get its fair share of benefits from an enterprise zone which is set to bring a £1bn boost to the local economy, county leaders have said.

The Lancashire Enterprise Partnership this week got the go ahead for £12.4m from a Government fund to speed up work on enterprise zones.

The Lancashire Enterprise Zone is based across the BAE Systems sites at Warton and Samlesbury and could bring up to 6,000 engineering and technology jobs.

The £12.4m is to be used to develop infrastructure at the Samlesbury site and creating an access from the A59 but as yet no details have been released about investment at the Fylde site.

The estimated £1bn would be generated by increased economic activity in the areas from the new businesses.

Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP Paul Maynard said: “It is really important that LEP investment is spread across the country, east and west of the M6 spine, and not just in the east of the county.

“The LEP is meant to invest on behalf of the whole county, and I don’t want to see the Fylde coast neglected.”

Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden said: “Any investment that could potentially bring more hi-tech and supply chain business to the area including the Fylde is of course fantastic.

“But what is also important as well as infrastructure is that the LEP focuses strongly on how they contribute to up-skilling and training individuals across the whole catchment area so they can actually get jobs in the enterprise zone.”

Fylde MP Mark Menzies said: “This is very positive news for the whole Enterprise Zone project and proves that when money and backing is necessary the Government is happy to support it.

“I am sure when the money is needed to improve the infrastructure around the Warton site, that will be readily available too. It will also provide hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs in the future.”

Phil Halsall, chief executive of Lancashire County Council, said: “The Enterprise Zone will build on our strengths to create a world-class centre for advanced manufacturing and engineering, based on the two sites at Warton and Samlesbury.

“We are already in advanced talks with 20 businesses to create jobs new to the county. We are committed to ensuring that the jobs created, and the boost to the economy, will benefit people across the whole of the county.”

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