A MAJOR £13.25million skills boost for Lancashire covering sectors from farming to adult learning was announced today.

It will create 4,421 new training and apprenticeship places and establish four new further education centres across county by the end of November.

Lancashire Adult Learning will relocate from Chorley to newly-refurbished premises at the £32m Northlight scheme at Brierfield Mill in Pendle supporting 22,000 mature students. It will be run by Nelson and Colne College

A new Food and Farming Innovation and Technology (FFIT) Centre at Myerscough College will be the most advanced agricultural training centre in the UK.

The cash boost from the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership will also pay for the Sentamu Teaching Block at the University of Cumbria’s Lancaster campus specialising in health and social care training and Lancashire Energy HQ in Blackpool, the country’s leading skills centre for the renewable, oil and gas energy sectors.

The investment had been welcomed by Pendle Council’s Labour leader Mohammed Iqbal, Northern Powerhouse Minister and Rossendale and Darwen MP Jake Berry and and his Ribble Valley Tory MP colleague Nigel Evans,

They are part of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership’s £27m technical and vocational skills Growth Deal which has already supported BAE System’s Academy for Skills and Knowledge at Samlesbury and a centre of digital and technology excellence at Accrington and Rossendale College.

Mr Evans said: “This is great news and the Myerscough College investment will provide key new skills to attract young people into farming which is vital to the Ribble Vally and East Lancashire a whole.

“It all builds on the high-tech investment we have already seen at Samlesbury.”

Cllr Iqbal said: “Northlight will create a new living, working, learning, leisure and cultural destination creating a host of opportunities for people from Pendle and East Lancashire.

“LAL will deliver community learning across the county and provide a centre in East Lancashire.”

Mr Berry said: “Job creation and economic growth are at the heart of the Northern Powerhouse and training the next generation to become the highly skilled workforce of the future will be vital to its success.

“As a proud Lancastrian I am delighted that my home county is establishing itself as a hub of training excellence.”