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Over 100 business leaders from across Lancashire attended the launch of the Local Economy of the Future report – commissioned by the British Chambers of Commerce.

One of it’s “five pillars” of economic policy, the report which will serve as the business community’s ‘manifesto’ and be presented to political parties ahead of the General Election.

The BCC chose the Chamber to launch this report and it’s setting – Thwaites Brewery, near Preston – did not disappoint as the director general, Shevaun Haviland, President Martha Lane-Fox and guest speaker, Edwin Booth from Booth’s supermarkets, gave a frank reminder of the issues facing the local economy moving forward.

In a Q&A with Baroness Martha Lane Fox, president of the BCC, Edwin said: “Only by working together will businesses be able to steer this rudderless ship through the choppy economic waters we find ourselves in.

“The government needs to take responsibility for the economy and give communities some hope for the future, only then will we see an upturn in the economy. Having a stronger economy makes people feel good. Skills and staff shortages are top of everyone’s lists, particularly in the retail sector.”

The reports’ proposals aim to increase the productivity of the local economy by letting businesses capitalise on the opportunities provided if their areas are more sustainably focused and digitally enabled.

And it recognises that for places to thrive then three forces need to come together – the community, business and local government.

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