Lancashire Council pledges £50m to make 'lasting legacy'

A £50m investment has been announced by Lancashire County Council to make improvements across the county.

Council leader Geoff Driver said the money would be used to create "a positive lasting legacy".

It will be spent on projects including £10m on an apprenticeships and £15m on improving transport infrastructure.

The Conservative council said the money had come from £10m administration and management cuts and £40m from its investments in government bonds.

No-one from the Labour or Liberal Democrat groups on the council was available for comment.

'Create jobs'

Mr Driver said the proposals, which include a £5m fund towards the cost of young people travelling to education and training and £10m of investment in economic development to encourage business growth, were intended to allow the young to "stay and prosper" in the county.

"Young people are at the heart of our proposals because they are the future," he said.

"We want them to stay and prosper in Lancashire when they leave education and we recognise the difficult economic climate is making that particularly hard to do at the present time.

"As well as helping them into employment, these proposals will give more young people across the county access to activities, information and guidance through the expansion of our Youth Zone programme."

He added: "We also plan to direct some of this investment into providing the right infrastructure and other conditions that make Lancashire a good place to do business, so that employers want to relocate or expand their operations here and create jobs.

"Together with our plans to improve libraries and invest in local transport schemes, this is a package of investment that will make a visible difference to the county over the next five years and beyond."

Among the transport schemes funded by the money will be the controversial Pennine Reach public transport initiative, which was scaled back in January 2011 following criticism from residents.

It received funding from the government as part of a transport spending review in December.

Rawtenstall Bus Station, the Blackpool to Fleetwood Tramway and a scheme to alleviate congestion in Broughton will also benefit.

Mr Driver said he was delighted to "announce this massive new investment and determined that it will leave a very positive, lasting legacy".

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