As a part of Lancashire’s industrial community we are interested in keeping our county thriving in the electronics sector. Reading the latest Lancashire LEP report it is clear that our sector is thriving and has survived the pandemic very well. Here are some key points from the report.
The LEP’s Strategic Framework is aligned to sectors which have been identified as being key to Lancashire’s economic growth. These include tourism and culture, manufacturing, energy and low carbon, digital, food and agriculture, and health.
The Sector Groups that were formed in the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic, initially focussed on developing an appropriate response to the impact of the virus. For some sectors, the impact to be addressed was more severe than for others, but all groups look to identify emerging challenges and opportunities and develop an effective response. The groups have also been looking at wider sector issues made worse by the pandemic, such as supply chain disruption and skills shortages. Taking this more integrated view of sector-specific issues has helped the LEP target its support more effectively.
LEP has worked with Innovate UK and the North West Business Leadership Team on a place-based R&D exemplar, focussed on the Tech Lancaster Cluster and our growing electronics capability, which Milliamp is a part of. The LEP’s Strategic Economic Framework recognises innovation as a cross-cutting enabler which will be at the heart of Lancashire’s Local Industrial Strategy and forthcoming Growth Plan.
The LEP understands that collaboration is central to unlocking economic growth and has facilitated several major innovation-led partner projects over the last year. These include ECO-I North West, a £14m Clean Tech programme which will help to position the county – and the North West – as a centre of low carbon and sustainable innovation.
Lancashire has significant strengths in oil, gas, nuclear and large-scale renewables which is complemented by an emerging specialisation in small-scale renewables. Our expertise in ‘old energy’ and newer, ‘green energy’ means we are well suited to significantly contribute to the government’s Net Zero ambitions and goals. Lancashire’s energy sector has also been relatively resilient to Covid-19, meaning it has a great opportunity to capitalise on the rising demand for more sustainable energy sources and low carbon solutions. LEP looks forward to the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), and the opportunity to demonstrate to the world that Lancashire is a hotspot for low carbon technologies innovation.
We are especially excited about the support of low carbon innovation, since this is something we are very interested in and specialise in. As a founding member of Tech Lancaster, we have also been providing people with electronic skills to drive forward the expertise in our sector and further help people with employment due the impact of Covid-19 on available jobs.