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The North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce is backing a call for the Kings Speech to take a business-focussed approach.

A keynote speech in the government’s calendar next week, the British Chambers of Commerce says this is a chance to give firms confidence to invest.

Latest data from the BCC’s Insight Unit shows investment flatlining. The Quarterly Economic Survey for Q3 showed less than a quarter of respondents reporting an increase in investment.

Concern over the impact of high interest rates rose to 45%.

In the face of economic headwinds, the BCC has set out five key asks from the Government in the King’s Speech:

• A Skills Bill that helps businesses and workers, and establishes Local Skills Improvement Plans as integral for the long term.
• A Trade and Customs Bill, which gives confidence to businesses and prepares it for the digital trade expansion ahead.
• The speech should consider how SMEs can benefit from wider technology adoption.
• A legal framework to enable the transformation of the national grid.
• A Planning Bill for England that gives more attention to business’ needs in the development management and plan-making process.

These asks underline the Chamber’s five key challenges for the future – People and Work, Global Britain, Digital Revolution, Green Innovation and Local Economy of the Future.

Babs Murphy, Chief Executive of the NWLCC, said: “We back the British Chamber’s call to use the King’s Speech as a springboard to encourage more business investment in Lancashire.

“In these uncertain economic times, with challenging conditions in the markets, businesses in the county are holding back on investing in the future and we will only experience economic growth that benefits the whole economy if we can create the conditions businesses need to deliver an uptick in investment.

“The challenges ahead for business are clear. Companies need clear signals from the King’s Speech that these issues are front and centre of the Government’s legislative plans.”

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