LANCASHIRE industry is set to receive a significant boost thanks to a £14 million investment programme in low carbon technology across the North West.

The Lancaster University led ECO-I North West programme aims work in partnership with the University of Central Lancashire, University of Cumbria, University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores University and Manchester Metropolitan University to support a ‘green’ recovery as the region emerges into the post-lockdown era.

More than 360 businesses in the region will benefit from investments that will help them to switch to new, low carbon technologies which, planners hope, will help to save an estimated 3,850 tonnes of carbon emissions.

Lancaster University’s director of research, enterprise and innovation Dr Dion Williams said: “Despite the ongoing economic shock of COVID we need to look forwards as a region towards recovery and future growth.

“The global markets for clean and sustainable products, processes and services are enormous and growing, and the opportunities for North West businesses are significant.

“Lancaster University, together with our partners are determined to support our region and our businesses to benefit from the green recovery and to establish the North West of England as a global exemplar for clean and sustainable growth.”

Eco-I North West aims to build on the eco-innovation model developed at Lancaster University’s Centre for Global Eco-Innovation, which over the last eight years has supported more than 700 businesses around the region along with the creating more than 300 jobs and helping reduce carbon emissions with the development of more than 120 new low carbon products and services.

The programme is also supported by funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Centre for Global Eco-Innovation manager Dr Andy Pickard said: "This programme attracts talent to the region and enables businesses to access the world-leading understanding in our regional universities to drive R&D and business growth.

“Growth which needs to be clean and green to address urgent environmental challenges.

“As we develop new products, services and new ways to do business, the North West has the opportunity to take the lead and benefit from the transition to a low carbon economy."