Enterprise Zone roadwork under way at Mellor Brook

County Councillor Alan Schofield with Chancellor George Osborne MP
County Councillor Alan Schofield with Chancellor George Osborne MP

Work on the new road access to the Samlesbury site of the Lancashire Enterprise Zone is now under way at Mellor Brook.

The scheme to create the planned northern access to the site from the A59, including a new signalised junction, is being carried out by Lancashire County Council’s Highways Department and is expected to take up to 22 weeks.

County Coun. Alan Schofield represents Ribble Valley South West, which includes the optimum location chosen for the northern access in Balderstone parish. Commenting on the work, he said: “I welcome the start of creating what is planned to be a very important economic and employment development for Lancashire in advanced engineering and manufacturing, while continuing to look to safeguard local community, highway safety and enviromental interests.

“Prior to the planning consent at County Hall in January 2014 for the A59 access at Mellor Brook, there had been local consultations during Autumn 2013 also on the Master Plan and the Local Development Order for long-term planning and development of this approved Enterprise Zone investment site.

“Although subsequently nothing much had happened on the ground in 2014 under the present LCC administration, while further negotiations and financing arrangements were being settled, Government Ministers have renewed confidence in the whole prestigious project.”

Coun. Schofield added: “LCC Highways have created a compound on the old road and signs are in place relating to this major highways work, which also give a contact telephone number.

“In due course the county council will also deliver the spine road between the A59 access and the intended future southern access fron the A677 Preston New Road at Samlesbury, which is to be adopted as a public highway.

“Both the construction of the spine road and A677 access junction in South Ribble are being brought forward, to be delivered sooner than previously expected.

“At the highest levels of Government, both the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, are keen to see the start and successful development of Lancashire Enterprise Zone. I took an opportunity to meet the Chancellor during their recent tour in the North West and he elaborated to me briefly on his thoughts on potential expansion of Enterprise Zones in the county.”

Lancashire Enterprise Zone is the UK’s prime location for the advanced engineering and manufacturing sector, including aerospace. It is anchored by BAE Systems across its two sites at Samlesbury and Warton and comprises 147 hectares across the two sites.

Businesses based on the Enterprise Zone will have an unrivalled opportunity to benefit from the high-tech supply chain created by British next-generation combat aircraft, the Lockheed Martin F-35, which is contracted to be built at the two sites over the next 25 years.