Zone could tap into local skills

Workers leaving the BAE site at Warton
Workers leaving the BAE site at Warton
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THE creation of an enterprise zone in Lancashire could bring an influx of jobs in the wake of redundancies at BAE Systems.

That is the hope of business leaders who have welcomed the announcement by chancellor George Osborne.

Managing director of Blackpool Fylde and Wyre Economic Development Company Damien Bourke said: “It is great news for the Fylde coast that Government has responded to the bad news from BAE Systems on job losses and is looking to award another Enterprise Zone in this area.

“The Enterprise Zones deliver tax benefits, relaxed planning laws and super fast broadband to attract new businesses.

“There are real opportunities to use the strength of BAE Systems technologies and presence on the site to help attract investment and stimulate the growth of Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) companies in the supply chain.

“This is particularly welcome in the wake of last week’s news and any initiative which could potentially provide jobs for those in this area is something we will be wanting to build on.”

Steve Pye, chairman of the Blackpool branch of the Federation of Small Business, said they would look closely at the proposals.

He added: “We welcome anything that will help boost the local economy.

“But the devil will be in the detail regarding what criteria there will be for receiving funding.”

BAE is cutting 822 jobs at Warton and 565 at Samlesbury due to a slow down on production of the Eurofighter.