AN organisation set up to boost Burnley and surrounding areas is determined to press ahead despite a cut in funding.
Regenerate Pennine Lancashire set out its aims for the coming year which will include supporting the development of the new Burnley Bridge business park and helping the private sector soak up the expected 5,000 public sector job losses over the next four years.
This follows the Government’s decision to remove funding for the Housing Market Renewal Programme and for the Local Economic Growth Initiative.
Regenerate also faces even more of a challenge with the forthcoming closure of Business Link in November and the North West Regional Development Agency in March next year.
As such, the organisation has restructured itself from a regeneration company to one focused solely on improving the local economy.
It has identified the Burnley Bridge business park off the M65 at Hapton, one of five sites around Pennine Lancashire, that will hopefully bring private sector jobs to the area.
The site is expected to be completed in the next 12 months.
Regenerate managing director Mr Steve Hoyle said: “The LEGI programme invested £7.5m. per year in the local economy which has now come to an end.
“We have identified 200 ‘growth’ companies in the Pennine Lancashire area and we’re hoping we can unlock investment potential in them.
“We will be working with Local Enterprise Partnerships which will be setting the local strategy for business start-ups and growth.
“One of our key priorities will be to secure a sound financial platform for subsequent years.”
Mr Hoyle named Burnley businesses Aircelle, AMS Neve and Nelson business Daisy Communications as examples of leading edge enterprises in the area.
Regenerate chairman Mr Dennis Mendoros said it was “a new way of generating and creating business in a low-cost way”.
He added: “This year, in partnership with local councils, we will help hundreds of businesses to start, innovate and grow. Our mission remains to improve the Pennine Lancashire economy and see the area’s reputation enhanced.”