A number of major infrastructure projects can act as a catalyst for Lancashire’s economy, according to the man heading a firm seeking to unlock the County’s natural gas energy resources.
Francis Egan, chief executive of shale gas firm Cuadrilla Resources, has said he believes projects like a new M6 link road being created at Heysham, the proposals to develop Preston city centre and projects associated with shale gas can provide huge investment and job creation.
He believes a multi-million pound shale gas industry, which would unlock natural gas locked in shale rock under Lancashire, has the potential to create thousands of jobs in the County and North West region.
For the second year running, Cuadrilla has signed up to be a sponsor for one of the Lancashire’s biggest business awards, the Be Inspired Business Awards, the BIBAs, which are now open for applications.
Mr Egan said: “Construction is a bellwether industry for the economy, it is often the first to feel the effects of difficult times and also the first to pick up when things get better.
“In Lancashire, there are a large number of huge construction projects which have the potential to spark real growth within our industry.
“The new M6 link road at Heysham is already creating jobs including for people who have been long-term unemployed, so the benefits are already being felt.”
The proposals recently unveiled by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) to expand its campus in Preston city centre also promise to bring further jobs to the construction industry, and Cuadrilla has already made contracts available to construction firms in the County as part of its shale gas exploration programme.
Mr Egan added: “We have consistently stated that we believe this industry can deliver major investment and thousands of new jobs within Lancashire, and the construction industry is an example of a sector that would share in these benefits from an early stage.”
Cuadrilla is one of the number of high-profile companies which has signed up to sponsor the BIBAs, the most-established business awards in Lancashire.
It is joined by global mega-brand Saatchi and Saatchi, the creative agency headed by Lancashire-born Kevin Roberts, and includes chartered accountants Moore and Smalley, nuclear firm Westinghouse and UCLan.