Support agreed for emerging growth sectors
Thursday, November 12, 2020
Lancashire County Council has approved a £10 million loan fund to attract inward investment in new and emerging growth sectors.
The fund is specifically aimed at companies who are addressing significant social and environmental challenges within the sectors of artificial intelligence and data; the ageing society, clean growth and the future modes of transport.
This newly-agreed loan fund will help Lancashire's offer to attract companies from these sectors to move into the county, which will help to create new jobs for local people and economic growth.
County Councillor Michael Green, Cabinet member for economic development, environment and planning, said: "There is a strong pipeline of potential investments, where proactive public sector support can work with the existing business base to find new partners and new technologies.
"The economic impact of the current Covid pandemic is increasing the shift in Lancashire's industrial base. It's therefore important for us to encourage more businesses to come here, which will assist with our economic recovery and create future growth. This is why we were keen to create this £10m fund to support these new growth sectors."
Lancashire is already home to businesses in these four UK Grand Challenge sectors of artificial intelligence and data; the ageing society, clean growth and the future of mobility.
There is a broad base of digital businesses working in the artificial intelligence and data sector, especially in Lancaster. This includes agencies whose clients are also based here.
Globally there is an issue of an ageing population, with businesses working on the technology and solutions to support people. At Lancaster University's Health Innovation Campus and the University of Central Lancashire, strong medical schools and facilities are defining their own specialisms around this theme. Some strong local businesses are also developing their own health-based technologies and manufacturing.
Lancashire's Clean Growth economy includes companies delivering products and services to reduce carbon emissions from home, businesses and transport.
Future Mobility builds on the existing strengths of the county's automotive and aerospace sector, embracing the challenges of moving to electrification or other fuels.
Lancashire is already developing capabilities around the use of autonomous vehicles through facilities like the Engineering Innovation Centre at the University of Central Lancashire, and the North West Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (NWAMRC) now being built at Samlesbury Enterprise Zone.
This new loan fund will sit alongside an existing wide-range of support such as the well-established Rosebud fund from Lancashire County Developments Limited, the county council's economic development company.
For more general business support businesses are recommended to contact Boost – Lancashire's Business Growth Hub - on 0800 488 0057 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The staff and services under the Boost banner will be able to advise you about the support that you might be able to access.
Following the Cabinet agreement for the loan fund, details of the scheme will now be developed. Details of how it will work and how to apply will be announced in the future.
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