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Business confidence in Lancashire ‘is on the up’

Aerospace Sector in Lancashire

Lancashire is bucking the trend when it comes to business confidence following the EU referendum – thanks to the county’s strong manufacturing base, according to Boost and Co member Haworths Chartered Accountants.

Mark Schofield of the Accrington-based firm shares his views following the release of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales’ quarterly business confidence report. The latest ICAEW UK Business Confidence Monitor (BCM) reveals a national slump in business confidence, which has moved into negative territory at -10.2, a drastic drop from 0.8, the figure recorded last quarter.

Despite the national fall, the North West is bucking the trend with a positive 3.9 which, although modest, is the highest figure across the nation. I believe the secret to the positive outlook from businesses across the North West is the region’s strong manufacturing base, which Lancashire’s aerospace industry leads the way. Lancashire is the third aerospace hotspot in the world, standing behind Seattle (USA) and Toulouse, contributing some 25 per cent to the North West’s manufacturing function.

In addition to BAE Systems, the county is also home to a large supply chain supporting Airbus. According to the Airbus website, the backlog order book for Airbus is 6,869 aircraft. At a guesstimate, of around 60 aircraft per month, that equates to a lead time of 9.5 years.

Although the EU referendum vote has introduced a level of uncertainty for many companies across the UK, the substantial demand within the aerospace industry is a major component of the success Lancashire is experiencing and I believe a key factor for the resilient business confidence in the region.


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