A delegation of more than 80 business people from across Lancashire gathered on Friday 11 March to hear from leading figureheads on how the county can achieve its growth ambitions.
Hosted by Downtown Lancashire in Business at Brockholes Nature Reserve, the Lancashire Business Boost Conference explored how the county can maximise on the Northern Powerhouse initiative and access the many support functions available through schemes including Boost Business Lancashire and the Rosebud Fund.
Following opening comments from Jennifer Mein, leader of Lancashire County Council and a panel discussion around Boost Business Lancashire, the audience heard from Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council.
Discussing the Northern Powerhouse, Devo Manc and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Sir Richard gave advice on what Lancashire can learn from the experience.
“From what I can see Lancashire is going down the right route,” he said.
“What we have done didn’t happen overnight and no doubt there will be plenty of disagreements along the way, but the key to successful collaboration is taking time to get things right.”
A session on transport and connectivity, which included Louise Ellman MP, preceded a discussion around the opportunities available through The Rosebud Fund, which marks its 30th anniversary this year.
Then new chairman of Marketing Lancashire, Tony Attard, addressed delegates on the organisation’s plans for promoting the county on a national and worldwide scale.
On closing the conference, the organisation’s third in as many years, Frank McKenna, chief executive of Downtown in Business, reiterated some of the event’s pertinent points, adding: “If Lancashire is to make the most of the opportunities available through initiatives including the Northern Powerhouse, we need to stop being so humble and shout about the county is a great place to do business.
“If we don’t do that, then we’re never going to achieve the growth ambitions which we need to in order to better compete with other areas.”