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Lancashire LEP to put region’s leading manufacturing activity at the heart of the debate at major Northern Powerhouse conference

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Andrew Percy and Edwin Booth
Andrew Percy and Edwin Booth

The Lancashire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has announced it will be the lead sponsor of the Advanced Manufacturing debate at the forthcoming Northern Powerhouse International Conference and Exhibition at Manchester Central (Feb 21 – 22).

The UK Northern Powerhouse International Conference and Exhibition is supported by business leaders from across the major cities of the North. It will include interactive sessions with top firms, as well as the Confederation of British Industry, Institute of Directors and Federation of Small Businesses. More than 3,000 delegates are expected, including International delegations from India, Australia, China and the US. The Northern Powerhouse Minister Andrew Percy, will also be attending.

The conference’s Advanced Manufacturing Q&A panel, entitled Manufacturing the Northern Powerhouse, will take place on Wednesday 22nd February at 1.00pm. Mike Damms, who is chair of the Lancashire Strategic Manufacturing Group, will be using the LEP’s lead role in the event to highlight Lancashire’s position as the UK’s leading region for aerospace and advanced manufacturing economic activity.

Central to this message is Lancashire’s Advanced Manufacturing and Energy Cluster which includes the county’s four Enterprise Zone sites at Samlesbury, Warton, Blackpool Airport and Hillhouse in Wyre. Combined these sites provide a world-class offer to investors and occupiers within the advanced manufacturing, energy and engineering sectors with the potential to generate 10,000 new high value jobs.

In addition, delegates will hear more details of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) which was recently announced in the government’s £70m Growth Deal 3 funding announcement for Lancashire.

The AMRC, which will be based at the Aerospace Enterprise Zone at Samlesbury, will see the LEP and its partners working closely with Sheffield University to create a centre of R&D excellence to help drive world class productivity and innovation gains through key SME supply chains.

Another key development in strengthening Lancashire’s leading position is the construction of the £30million Engineering Innovation Centre (EIC) at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). Located in the heart of Preston city centre, and due to open in 2018, the EIC will be an integrated hub for teaching, research and knowledge exchange, bringing together the region’s expertise from within academia and industry.

The aim of the EIC is to maximise the University’s position at the centre of one of the most intense engineering and manufacturing areas in the UK and establish UCLan as a leader in engineering innovation.

Edwin Booth Chair of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership said: “The LEP is looking forward to participating in this major national conference to ensure those attending get a clear picture of the scale and significance of Lancashire’s manufacturing offer at the very heart of the Northern Powerhouse.  

“Through our presence at this event the LEP has secured a high-profile platform where it can showcase new, dynamic initiatives such as the Advanced Manufacturing and Energy Enterprise Zone cluster, the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre project and UCLan’s Engineering and Innovation development whilst reaffirming our position as the UK’s number one region for aerospace activity”.

Also scheduled to take part in the debate “Manufacturing the Northern Powerhouse” will be Kevin Fitzpatrick, Vice President UK Manufacturing from Nissan; Steve Bagshaw, Chief Executive Officer of Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies; Peter Hogg, Commercial Director, British Steel; and Paul Butler, Chief Executive Officer, North East Automotive Alliance.

The Lancashire LEP will also be exhibiting at the Northern Powerhouse Conference exhibition together with the Lancashire Combined Authority (stand number 122) where it will continue to promote the new ‘We Are Lancashire – the place for growth’ inward investment campaign which it launched last autumn in the presence of the Northern Powerhouse Minister Andrew Percy, and over 200 local business leaders and partners.

In advance of the Northern Powerhouse conference, where he will be giving a keynote speech, Mr Percy said: “The Northern Powerhouse is home to more than 15 million people and one million businesses, seven international airports and some of the world’s top universities. Our economy was worth £316 billion in 2015 – similar to the whole of Belgium – but we want to go further.

“That’s why we’re investing billions of pounds to back businesses in the North and create an economy that works for everyone. I look forward to continuing to work with local leaders to ensure the North goes from strength to strength.”

For further information or to book tickets to the UK Northern Powerhouse International Conference and Exhibition please visit www.uk-northern-powerhouse.com.

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Andrew Mann
After 34 years working in numerous operational and communications disciplines for three FTSE companies (Yorkshire Electricity; Meggitt and BAE Systems), at over a dozen locations, on 24 November 2016, I became the inaugural editor of Business Lancashire. Business Lancashire is a good news, Lancashire focused, business website and daily newsletter. It is a partnership between The Samuel James Group and the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce. Over the years, I have written hundreds of press releases, features for trade magazines, copy for websites and brochures, edited in-house magazines and newsletters, as well as presenting a radio programme on Chorley FM. This experience has given me the ideal background for editing Business Lancashire.