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The local economy

 West Lancashire is a great place to live, work, study and do business, with thriving commercial centres and a diverse local economy, strengthened by internationally renowned companies who have established a base in the area. 

Top five largest employers include:

  • PepsiCo
  • Hotter
  • Pilkington PLC 
  • Edge Hill University 
  • Trelleborg Offshore UK Ltd

Check out the Labour Market Profile (external link) for more information on West Lancashire.

Employment facts

West Lancashire is home to over 4000 businesses, supporting around 45,500 jobs across a diverse mix of industries. Skelmersdale is a key employment location in the borough, supporting 43% of all jobs (19,100 jobs) in West Lancashire. Nearly a quarter, 23% (4,300) of employee jobs in Skelmersdale are in the Manufacturing sector.

To find out more about West Lancashire's employment facts download the West Lancashire Employment Fact Sheet 2016 (PDF, 312KB)

Skills facts

West Lancashire has a total population of 111,900 with a total working age population of 69,100 (61.8% of West Lancashire’s total population).

Major industries in the borough include: Manufacturing, distribution, retail, accommodation and food services, professional scientific and technical services. Together these sectors account for 66% of all jobs in the borough.

To find out more about West Lancashire's skills trends download the West Lancashire Skills Fact Sheet 2016 (PDF, 360KB)

Transport links

Transport links are a major factor to consider when moving or expanding your business. So if your company needs a prime location at the heart of the North West's motorway network look no further. West Lancashire's outstanding road, rail and sea network makes companies ideally placed to serve customers in the UK, European and world markets.
The custom-built estates of Skelmersdale are all located within five minutes of the M58 corridor, which links nationally via the M6 and M62 Motorways.  Advantages are being only 30 minutes away of the cities of Preston, Manchester and Liverpool and their respective airports and port facilities. 

Economy study

West Lancashire Borough Council and its partners Lancashire County Council and the Homes and Community Agency commissioned a West Lancashire Economy Study in 2014 which would help support the growth of the Borough, whilst providing partners with a robust evidence base and growth projections. 

In addition, eight core strategic themes have been developed to drive forward economic growth in the Borough, together with an action plan setting out a suite of activities over the short, medium and long term. 

Economic Development Strategy 2015-2025

The West Lancashire Economic Development Strategy pulls together the baseline assessment from the Economy Study and sets out the eight core strategic themes that will act as enablers for growth for the borough, along with an action plan which provides details of specific activities that will drive the strategy forward.

In preparing the Economic Development Strategy, the Council conducted extensive research and consultation, including:

  • Preparation of the Economy Study to provide an up-to-date economic evidence base;
  • A literature review of previous strategies and policies which needed to be considered;
  • Consultation (including an online survey) with the business community, other stakeholders and partners.  

Ormskirk Town Centre Strategy 2015-2020

West Lancashire Borough Council, along with partners, has developed the Ormskirk Town Centre Strategy 2015-2020 in order to help co-ordinate the approach of the Council, local retailers and other interested parties. The aim is to help deliver a successful and vibrant town centre that can remain competitive and responsive as our high streets change.