A series of supply chain events are to be staged over the next year for firms wanting to get into the shale gas industry.
Lancashire for Shale, a group of local businesses that supports the development of shale gas in the county,has announced it will be staging Getting Ready for Shale following the recent decision by the Government to approve exploratory shale gas activity on the Fylde.
The purpose of the events is to create a forum that allows local firms to engage better with gas exploration firm Cuadrilla as the sector is set to grow.
The events will feature expert speakers from America, Scotland’s offshore sector, Lancashire’s business community and Cuadrilla.
Cuadrilla has consistently said over the past three years that, where possible, it would like to see Lancastrian businesses maximise the benefits from its activities. In 2014, Cuadrilla, along with UKOOG, the national representative trade body for the onshore sector, and the North West Energy Task Force hosted the UK’s first ever supply chain conference in Blackpool for over 300 businesses.
During the 2014 conference, an independent report by accountants EY found that a UK shale gas industry could generate up to £33bn worth of spending for the wider supply chain and create nearly 4,000 jobs.
The Getting Ready for Shale series will also publish position papers, which will help Lancashire’s companies identify commercial opportunities in the county’s emerging supply chain for the onshore gas sector.
Over the next few months, Lancashire for Shale will be hosting events for business services, hospitality and leisure, construction and engineering.
A 2016 poll by Comres of county businesses suggests that the series should attract huge interest. A majority of business owners surveyed said that they supported shale gas development and that it would have a positive impact on the economy.
Blackpool-based Tim Freshney, a financial backer of Lancashire for Shale and the managing director of WJF Technical Support, an engineering firm, said: “The shale gas sector is the future – giving our county a fantastic opportunity to create new jobs and generate much-needed investment in local public services and infrastructure.
“But now the real work begins. I call on local firms of all shapes and sizes to get involved and show the UK shale gas sector how talented we are.”