distributes Castrol and other industrial products across the UK. MHA Moore and Smalley and Harrison Drury advised on the deal.

Plans have been submitted to build

a new business park on the land which was once home to the Leyland test track.  facilities as well as light industrial and warehouse buildings. PWA Planning submitted the planning application on behalf of Preston-based residential and commercial property developer Providence Gate Group Holdings.

Following the work by communications specialist ITS to install gigabit-speed connectivity to the Fylde Coast in late  is expanding its reach and will be live in Preston from April.

Made Smarter, the programme which has delivered advice, workshops and funding to help manufacturers take advantage of advanced technology, has been given a further £8m by the  is forecast to deliver an additional £56m in gross value added for the Lancashire economy over the next three years, create 355 new jobs, and upskill 795 existing roles.

Anwyl Homes acquired a nine-acre site in

Warton and plans to build 96 new homes as it expands its reach across the county. Across its various sites, the Buckshaw Village-based business plans to build nearly 200 new homes by the end of September 2021, up from 90 built over the previous year.

Clitheroe-based Axess 2 installed a panoramic glass lift at The Landmark in Burnley. The Grade II-listed building is currently a hub for small businesses and entrepreneurs but will soon host additional events such as weddings and conferences.

Broughton Lubricants has been acquired

from the Hodge family by Certas Energy. The Walton Summit company employs 24 and

Preston-based digital agency Bespoke built a specialist online platform to bring together partners of property auctioneer Pugh. The online portal gives members  UK, access to training materials, videos, marketing downloads and the ability to submit new properties for auction.

Together Housing acquired 30

affordable family homes at Coupe Green in Preston which will be made available through a mix of shared ownership and affordable rent. It has also teamed up with MCI Developments to build 114 affordable homes in a £13m build in Nelson.


Housing and Breck Homes

partnered to deliver 55 affordable homes on a 3.5-acre site in Catterall. The £8.5m plans were approved by Wyre Council late last year and have been supported by funding from the government agency Homes England.

Developers HBD and Barnfield have begun construction on an 18-acre strategic   between 10,000 and 21,000 sq ft. There is also outline planning for industrial and logistics use on the remaining 14 acres, accommodating up to 200,000 sq ft.

Kirkham-based Warden Construction earned two places on the NHS Shared Business Services framework agreement for public sector construction works: for public sector and healthcare projects up to the value of £2.5m, and for projects between the value of £2.5m and £5m.


new companies registered in Lancashire in 2020. Across the year, 12,655 new companies were registered in the county compared with 11,229 during 2019, representing an increase of 12.7 per cent.


Preston’s St George’s Shopping Centre has been placed into administration. InfraRed Capital Partners acquired the 280,000 sq ft shopping centre for £73m in 2015, but is reported to have defaulted on a loan secured against the property. New lows on the high street: page 58

Blackpool Council announced 40 job losses as it works to meet a budget shortfall of around £20m. Council tax will be increased by 4.99 per cent with savings made through voluntary redundancies, the deletion of vacant posts and the end of temporary contracts.

 resigned as mayor of Blackburn after breaching coronavirus restrictions.

The number of corporate insolvencies  but accountancy and business advisor Azets warned “this will not last forever” and said the region needed to prepare itself for a backlog of winding up orders in the system and the full effects of Brexit.

Martin Coe, the former director of Blackpool-based Evolution Security Services NW, has been given a 32-week jail term suspended for 12 months after being found guilty of providing unlicensed security staff to a school.


Paul Spencer Director, Haworths



Boris Johnson has unveiled his roadmap to getting the country and the economy out of lockdown. It promises to be a slow, but hopefully steady and successful journey.

And by the time you read this, chancellor Rishi Sunak will have delivered one of the most crucial Budgets in modern times.

That will have given some indication of the path he believes we need to take to rebuild the economy post-pandemic – and what support has been made available for businesses as we look to take on that building work.

It would have been good to have been talking about business rates reform as part of this overall recovery plan.

 review of the system will now not be published in the Autumn.

The Treasury says the latest in a series of delays is to ensure the publication takes place when there is “more economic certainty”.

An interim report, which will include a summary of consultation responses, will be released at the end of this month and we await that with interest.

One thing is sure, the government can’t keep kicking this particular can down the road. Decisions are already well overdue.

Retail sector experts are warning that reform is vital and without high streets and town centres will struggle to recover from the pandemic.

The next few months will be vitally important for Lancashire businesses in all sectors as the county looks to ‘build back better’.

We will all be looking for signs of growth,  always do in this part of the world - offering each other support and encouragement.

We will also be looking for signs that the government’s ‘levelling-up’ agenda is more than a soundbite but a genuine commitment, backed by solid action.

Find out more at... 01254 232521



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