Lancashire firms have been urged to sign up to benefit from work generated by the soon-to-be shale gas industry in the county.
The move follows the Government’s controversial decision last week to allow fracking to go ahead in Lancashire.
Cuadrilla’s bid to test drill at Preston New Road, Little Plumpton, near Blackpool, was approved after an appeal.
Now the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce says chamber members will be in pole position to benefit from shale gas exploration in the county.
Work could start next year.
Cuadrilla has pledged to put contracts and money into Lancashire business and help the county the centre and leader of this industry.
The Chamber is in the process of upgrading the existing supply chain portal to ensure local firms prepare themselves and develop relationships with Cuadrilla and their key suppliers.
This has been a learning point for other industries such as offshore wind in the UK.
If the local supply chain waits for the industry to gear up fully, opportunities are lost and the contracts go to other parts of the county or abroad where the expertise exists.
A specially-created portal will allow local companies to register their interest in becoming a supplier to Cuadrilla, keep up to date with the latest developments with the exploration programme including future contracting opportunities, and find out how to meet the quality and safety standards.
Babs Murphy, Chief Executive of the Chamber, said: “Developing a viable shale industry in Lancashire will have positive economic implications for the region in terms of investment, jobs and supply chain engagement, and has the potential to provide security of energy supply to regional manufacturers.
“This announcement means that local businesses will be in pole position for future shale gas supply chain opportunities in the County.”
Cuadrilla’s application was approved by the Government last week despite Lancashire County Council throwing out the scheme.
To register your business, go to www.shalegaslancashire.co.uk/