Cuadrilla is proposing to drill at two sites on the Fylde coast – at Roseacre and Little Plumpton. A decision on whether they can is due at the end of the year.
A new policy paper by the North West Energy Task Force, made up of business people and professionals, was unveiled at East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce’s Lancashire Manufacturers Conference, which was held at Brockholes nature reserve near Preston.
The paper says that natural gas from UK shale “could lead to cheaper, more reliable energy and a new £34bn supply chain.”
In a letter to a national newspaper this week, a further 28 manufacturers from across the north said shale gas is the future.
Cuadrilla’s hotly-debated applications are due to be considered by Lancashire County Council planning chiefs in December.
Jeremy Nicholson, of the Energy Intensive Users Group, said the meeting was largely supportive of shale gas.
He said: “We are not saying that shale gas is the only solution – we need a mix of fuels to sustain the UK in the future.”