NEARLY £13million will be used to accelerate projects and schemes across Lancashire to boost the economy following the impact of Covid-19.
Lancashire County Council, which will look to approve the fund at a meeting tomorrow (Thursday, September 3), wants to support projects that have the ‘dual benefit’ of tackling the immediate impacts of the virus outbreak together with unlocking economic recovery and growth in the longer term.
It is proposed that the funding will be allocated by the end of March 2021, with the aim of completing the majority of schemes by March 2024.
The move comes as council officers have already started to identify major projects that could bring billions of pounds into Lancashire.
The county council's own major project and strategic development plans also have the potential to deliver a significant portion of investment to the area.
Geoff Driver, leader of the council, said: “At the beginning of the year we were in the process of bringing forward ambitious plans for economic growth together with setting out our vision for the whole of Lancashire to become the UK City of Culture in 2025.
“Work had already begun on plans for major development and infrastructure to transform our economy and fully realise our potential for the benefit of all our residents, businesses and communities.
“Unfortunately we are all aware of the huge impact coronavirus has had in Lancashire since then, both in terms of the tragic human cost as well as the economic impact.
“But we are determined to build on the foundations we already had in place to help our towns, attractions, countryside and destinations, while supporting industry, stimulating business growth and creating new jobs.
“In fact we are not looking to return to business as usual, but be even more ambitious for our county and future prosperity.
“There are many exciting schemes we are now looking to progress and these additional funds will enable us to continue with those plans as well as helping the county’s economy recover from COVID.”