As a former small businessman, Andrew is a keen supporter of apprenticeships, workplace training programmes and lifelong learning. Andrew has worked closely with local training providers, like Nelson and Colne College and local employers to boost the availability of apprenticeships across Pendle. Lots of local businesses have offered these vacancies at Andrew’s annual Pendle Jobs and Apprenticeship Fair, which he has run every year since 2011.
Nelson and Colne College is now the second best college in the country for our 16-18 Apprenticeship success, and among the top Colleges in the country for overall Apprenticeship provision.
Andrew’s effort combined with additional funding from the government has seen apprenticeship numbers increase dramatically with over 5,500 people across Pendle starting an apprenticeship since 2010.
Supporting the local economy
Pendle’s local economy is thriving. There has been huge investment from companies such as Rolls-Royce, who recently invested £50 million to expand their Barnoldswick site, creating a new Centre of Excellence for Structures & Transmissions.
Lomeshaye Industrial Estate is set to expand thanks to a £4 million investment from the Government. When the then Northern Powerhouse Minister, Andrew Percy MP, announced £69.8 million of new funding for Lancashire in 2017 – including the £4 million for Lomeshaye Industrial Estate, he praised Andrew’s ‘tireless efforts to ensure that Pendle was at the heart of the Northern Powerhouse”. This expansion is set to create over 1,100 new jobs – a massive boost to the local economy.
The Northlight Transformation of Brierfield Mills is now well underway thanks to large amounts of funding from Central Government. In 2012, Andrew managed to successfully lobby the Government for £1.5 million to bring the Mills back into public ownership, securing the site’s future. Over the course of the next few years, Andrew brought no fewer than 6 Government Ministers to Brierfield and lobbied them for funding to help transform the derelict Mills. Andrew even secured a debate in Parliament on Brierfield Mills, making sure his voice was heard and the case was well made for funding. In 2014, Andrew campaigned for ‘Assisted Area’ status which allowed access to the “Business Premises Renovation” incentive which managed to attract millions of pounds of private investment. In January 2015, after year of extensive lobbying by Andrew, Greg Clark MP announced £17.2 million for projects across Lancashire including Brierfield Mills. This huge project is expected to create over 500 new jobs in the area.
Since Andrew was elected in 2010, over 290 more small businesses have been created in Pendle, creating hundreds of new jobs for local people. Whilst we have come a long way in Pendle to create more jobs and secure the local economy, Andrew will continue to support and encourage local businesses.