Fylde Council has worked with Blackpool and Lancashire County Councils to put forward a bold bid to central government for investment zones.
Investment zones are a new government initiative that aim to attract investment and unlock development and economic activity. The upper-tier authorities of Lancashire and Blackpool were included in a shortlist of 38 local authority areas where the government is considering establishing the zones.
These investment zones have the potential to generate tens of thousands of jobs adding billions of pounds to the value of the economy of the area. The proposals put forward outline ambitious plans for a zone that would span Lancashire using a series of interlinked ‘enterprise corridors’ and employment clusters:
- The North-South Enterprise Corridor would extend from as far north as Heysham, through central Lancashire and down into West Lancashire.
- The East Lancashire Enterprise Corridor would cover sites from Samlesbury and across into Burnley, Hyndburn and Pendle.
- The Fylde Coast Enterprise Corridor would cover areas across the Fylde, Wyre, and Blackpool coast.
Leader of Fylde Council, Councillor Karen Buckley, stated:
“As soon as the Investment Zones were announced I was on the phone to the Cabinet Member for Economic Development at Lancashire County Council to ensure Fylde sites were included so that we could attract investment and jobs to the area. Working closely with LCC and our MP, Mark Menzies, led to the inclusion of the Clean Energy Technology Park at Springfields and the Warton/Salmesbury Enterprise Zone in the bid to Government.
A further opportunity arose with Blackpool Council to extend the existing Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone to accelerate growth and benefit to our communities by unlocking employment land across from Queensway.”
She explains further that “The expansion of the Enterprise Zone forms part of the Fylde Coast Enterprise Corridor as outlined within the Lancashire Authorities Investment Zone Expression of Interest. Fylde Council has worked collaboratively with our partners at Blackpool and Lancashire to ensure strategic alignment of our key sites, and they are at the heart of an emerging pan-Lancashire growth plan.”
According to the government, the zones would seek to have planning flexibility to assist with their development and tax relief for businesses who relocate there. For developments in the early stages of planning, and to encourage new development to come forward, there will be a new faster and more streamlined consent to grant planning permission. Key planning policies to ensure developments are well designed will continue to apply, as will protections for Green Belt, heritage, flood risk, highway safety, and building regulations. All Investment Zones will have a mandate to boost growth.
For more information regarding investment zones see the government’s fact sheet: The Growth Plan 2022: Factsheet on Investment Zones – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
More information regarding the Fylde based enterprise zones which include Blackpool Enterprise Zone, the Clean Energy Technology Park, and Warton Enterprise Zone can be found on their websites:
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