The funds have kick started more than 30 initiatives across Lancashire
Richard Bell

£250m Lancashire Growth Deal initiatives on track for 2021 completion

One year after the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) officially signed up to the government’s £250m Lancashire Growth Deal, the organisation has reported that all the scheme’s major projects are on track for completion by 2021.

Starting out at £234m, the Growth Deal – one of the largest ever negotiated with central government – was first announced in July 2014 and received a £17m boost last January.

The funds, kick starting more than 30 initiatives across Lancashire, are expected to create 8,000 jobs and 3,000 new homes, in addition to generating a further £280m of public and private investment for the county.

Now, the LEP has said that around 20 of the projects are either live or imminent, with more set to launch in due course.

Infrastructure developments driven by the nine-figure boost include the Blackburn - Bolton Rail Corridor; Broughton Bypass, which forms part of the LEP’s City Deal initiative; the Hyndburn Burnley Pendle Growth Corridor; and improvements to Centenary Way Viaduct in Burnley.

The chair of the LEP, Edwin Booth, commented: “The diverse mix of schemes being delivered through this £250m transformational programme of activities reflects that our Growth Deal priorities are fully aligned to those in the LEP’s Strategic Economic Plan for Lancashire, and complement the work being undertaken through the £434m City Deal for Preston and South Ribble.

“Both these deals also reflect our ambition and determination to make sure Lancashire plays a full part in the economic renaissance of the North, and that all our major investments are fully integrated to ensure they benefit the whole of the county.”

Elsewhere, skills and innovation facilities being delivered through the Growth Deal include UCLan’s new £30m Engineering and Innovation Centre, Runshaw College’s Science and Engineering Centre and Blackpool and Fylde College’s Marine Engineering Centre.

The chair of the LEP’s Growth Deal Management Board, Graham Cowley, said: “When we officially signed up to the Growth Deal a year ago the sheer scale and volume of projects being green lighted demonstrated a new approach in Lancashire to driving forward economic growth.

“We have ensured that the Growth Deal remains focussed in its delivery and that the people of Lancashire are able to see positive, tangible results on the ground as a result of the investment being made by both the public and private sector.”

He continued: “The fact that we are progressing so many schemes simultaneously and quickly across the county, including those being delivered through the City Deal, means that in just a few short years it will become clear just how transformational these two major LEP initiatives have been for Lancashire in terms of creating transport links, jobs, homes, skills and economic prosperity.”

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