Lancashire businesses start to benefit from £8.4m investment

19 January 2022

More than 200 businesses are already getting involved in the £8.4m Lancashire Colleges project to meet the needs of the zero-low carbon economy of the future through the Government’s Skills Accelerator programme.

Following the initial announcement, businesses across the county are starting to see the benefits of the Strategic Development Fund (SDF) Pilot being run by The Lancashire Colleges by undertaking carbon audits and gaining advice about sustainable energy, green construction, electric vehicles and other business opportunities. Business leaders are working with the colleges to design programmes to help develop the skills of their current and future workforce, which will be delivered in a number of new skills centres featuring state of the art technology.

Regional accountancy and financial planning firm PM+M, one of the businesses which has already engaged with the project, is looking to support and advise other SMEs to reduce carbon emissions.

Neil Welsh, financial planner and business development manager at PM+M is the firm’s representative on the SDF Pilot, said: “PM+M is delighted to be involved and we’re excited at the prospect of partnering for positive influence.

“The Pilot really links up the local business community with the low carbon agenda and encourages best practice in a way which will boost productivity and growth. Since becoming involved, PM+M has provided a range of support to participating businesses, including guidance surrounding the tax treatment of electric vehicle use, capital allowances and R&D tax credits, proving that the programme is not just about saving the planet but that it makes business sense too. We look forward to continued collaboration.”

Alison Robinson, Principal of Myerscough College which led the bid for the funding, said: “We have seen a wave of positive responses from the business community since we made the announcement. Each one is different and we are providing a whole range of support depending on each business’s specific needs.

“We are sending this message to all businesses – get involved now to secure your future. This will help to transform lives and communities across Lancashire through the development of skills and the creation of jobs.”

Businesses can find out more about how Lancashire’s Colleges can help them to make the most of the opportunities presented by the low-net zero carbon economy of the future by visiting our SDF project page. Alternatively, speak to your local college business engagement team.

TLC was chosen by the Department for Education (DfE) to deliver the Strategic Development Fund Pilot, exploring how education providers can work together more effectively alongside employers and other partners to respond to local skills and innovation priorities as well as tackling the zero-low carbon agenda.

The trailblazing SDF Pilot is one of the biggest of its kind in England, part of the Government’s Skills Accelerator Programme which also sees the North and Western Chamber of Commerce and the East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce leading the Local Skills Improvement Plan to create a joined-up skills strategy that will help the county become a leading region for zero-low carbon technologies.

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