The first round of growth deals gave a major boost to local economies by investing in transport, skills and housing, and by helping businesses to create thousands of new jobs. I am determined to build on the momentum of the growth deals, so I have invited local businesses and civic leaders from across England to propose the next set of projects to be funded from the local growth fund.
On 15 October, I met representatives of the Lancashire LEP, and I have since made my views known to them about the importance of Brierfield mill and other projects in my constituency. I have also made my views known to the Minister. How does Lancashire fit into the Deputy Prime Minister’s Northern Futures project and the Chancellor’s northern powerhouse project?
Lancashire is absolutely fundamental to the northern powerhouse. For our country to prosper at its optimal level, every part of it needs to be firing on all cylinders, and that certainly includes Lancashire. My hon. Friend has made a powerful case for the Brierfield mill development. I look forward to having the chance to see it in person before long. I encourage him and all Members of the House to engage with their local enterprise partnerships. In my view, Members of Parliament have a pretty good idea of what the most important economic priorities are, so they should feed those priorities into the LEPs.