The partners driving forwards Lancashire’s economic renaissance have officially opened the new spine road for the Samlesbury Aerospace Enterprise Zone.
Sir Frederick Page Way is a new 2km (1.25 miles) spine road connecting the A677 (Preston New Road), near to Samlesbury Hall, to the A59 (Myerscough Smithy Road). Already open to the public, it has ‘Clearway’ status, meaning vehicles are prohibited from stopping or parking on the road at any time.
As well as relieving pressure on the existing local road network, Sir Frederick Page Way provides access to the Samlesbury Aerospace Enterprise Zone.
The Enterprise Zone is already home to two important aerospace facilities – BAE Systems’ Academy for Skills and Knowledge, a £16m, 7,400 sq metres facility which delivers through-life training for BAE Systems workforce of 10,000 people in the county, including its apprentices and graduates; and the £15m, 15,000 sq metres Defence Logistics Centre operated by Wincanton employing 150 staff.
Good progress is being made on the further addition on the site of an Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), a Growth Deal-funded centre of research and development excellence to improve supply chain productivity and innovation, which will see the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and partners working closely with University of Sheffield.
Lancashire Enterprise Partnership Chair Edwin Booth, DL, County Councillor Michael Green, district representatives and representatives from BAE Systems are amongst those who attended the official launch.
Mr Booth, DL, said: “This road is part of a wider infrastructure programme which will enable more businesses to relocate to Samlesbury and enjoy better connectivity in and around the Enterprise Zone (EZ).
“While this particular highway has a 30mph speed limit, the LEP is helping to accelerate economic progress in Lancashire at pace.
“Together, the four EZs in the county are strategic inward investment sites making up an economic and investor offer of Northern Powerhouse significance, and this new road brings the full realisation of the Samlesbury Aerospace Enterprise zone site one step closer.”
Lancashire County Councillor Michael Green said: “Samlesbury Aerospace EZ is hugely important to Lancashire’s economy.
“When the Enterprise Zone is completed, it will be a national centre of excellence for advanced engineering and manufacturing related companies and is predicted to directly create up to 6,000 high-skilled, high-value jobs, with a similar number created in the advanced engineering and manufacturing supply chain.
“In the future, Samlesbury will play a key role in helping to maintain and develop Lancashire’s position as the UK’s number one region for aerospace.”
The new road is part of around £11m of Infrastructure Works at the Enterprise Zone, which includes the new spine road, two new access points and ecology and drainage works.
New habitat for ground-nesting lapwings and skylarks is being created at Warton Mires, a 32 hectare site near Carnforth, as mitigation for the habitat loss at Samlesbury. This will be delivered in partnership with the Royal Society for Protection of Birds.