A new report has been published which will help to develop an Economic Development Strategy for West Lancashire to further boost the local economy and create new jobs.
The West Lancashire economy is performing well when compared to the UK and the North West, and this is expected to continue, given its excellent strategic location, amongst other factors.
West Lancashire Borough Council, Lancashire County Council and the Homes and Community Agency jointly commissioned the West Lancashire Economy Study, which will help support further growth in the borough.
To see a copy of the Economy Study please visit local economy.
The study looks at key issues such as levels of qualifications and skills of local residents, housing trends, retail and property markets and potential development opportunities in the borough.
The study was commissioned to provide the Council and its partners with evidence and information about the current health of the local economy, as well as potential future trends and opportunities.
It covers the whole of West Lancashire, with a particular focus on economic issues and opportunities in Skelmersdale, which is one of the borough’s key settlements and regeneration areas.
The study has been used by the Borough Council to inform the emerging Economic Development Strategy for West Lancashire, which will support growth, business development and job creation over the next ten years.
The Strategy sets out a recommended action plan which identifies a range of actions which the public and private sector can undertake to support the growth of the local economy.
Councillor David Westley, West Lancashire Borough Council Leader and portfolio holder for Regeneration said: “Economic regeneration is a key priority for the council and this was an excellent time to refresh our strategic thinking and establish an up-to-date economic evidence base. This will inform our Economic Development Strategy and create an action plan for the future.
“The council recognises we cannot deliver economic growth without working in partnership with a range of organisations from the public and private sector as well as voluntary and social enterprise organisations. The study will be a vital tool in helping us to understand and support our priorities.”
County Councillor Jennifer Mein, leader of the county council, said: "We're planning ahead to make sure that West Lancashire as a whole has the right conditions to bring new jobs and growth in the future.
"We're committed to supporting opportunities for new employment and housing growth in West Lancashire, with major new initiatives planned in Skelmersdale.
"Our recently adopted Strategic Highways and Transport Masterplan for West Lancashire underlines our confidence in the area as a place to live, work and invest.
"We will play a full role in improving the growth prospects of the communities and businesses we serve in West Lancashire, and we're looking to work with private and public partners to deliver the change required."
The study recommends shared objectives and priorities for economic growth that can be used by the Borough Council and shared with the Council’s main investment partners. It identifies individual investments/projects that the Council and its partners can seek to implement, including the Skelmersdale Town Centre Regeneration Project.
The Council will be consulting on a draft Economic Development Strategy in early 2015 and more details will be announced nearer to the time.