A REFRESHED masterplan promising up to 6,000 jobs for Lancashire will have a laser focus on science and cyber-tech opportunities.

Council chiefs in East Lancs have been asked to renew a development order for the Samlesbury Enterprise Zone - which straddles the Ribble Valley and South Ribble boroughs.

And after the first 10 years of the zone's emergence has seen the construction of a new advanced manufacturing and research centre (AMRC) and Academy for Skills and Knowledge (ASK), borough leaders are being asked to consider the outlook for the next decade and beyond.

Senior councillors in South Ribble considered the 2024 development order at a meeting last month. The National Cyber Force is set to establish a headquarters there next year, with an expected £5bn investment in the county's economy.

Sarah Bullock, South Ribble's interim deputy chief executive, said in a report: "The site is currently on track to deliver around 2,528 high value new jobs with current enquiries suggesting potential to exceed this.

"The potential for further associated technology spin-out businesses, new business starts, and SMEs is significant, with the potential to deliver a further 5,000-6,000 high value jobs in the long term.

"Strategically the site plays a key role in anchoring and developing an AEM (advanced engineering and manufacturing), sci-tech and cyber enterprise corridor linking to Lancashire's key universities and extensive AEM capabilities."

And a masterplan consultation report on the local development order (LDO) to be considered by Ribble Valley planners tomorrow, Thursday, outlines future ambitions for the zone.

It states: "The main uses proposed within the LDO remain the same as in the 2014 LDO but with an enhanced provision for research and development, sci-tech and cyber purposes and a reduced provision for storage and distribution.

"The 2024 LDO recognises the growing opportunity and demand for sci tech and cyber uses and therefore allows for an increased proportion of those uses within the same overall total scale of development."

Once the order has been considered by both authorities work can begin to further the zone's development, which has already seen the creation of a new defence logistics centre and asset management faciity, and fresh links off Preston New Road and the A59.

Lyndsey Hayes, Ribble Valley's head of development management, said: "The consultation will run for 28 days in accordance with legislative requirements, after which time Ribble Valley and South Ribble will both collate the responses.

"Following consultation, representation received will be carefully considered, and any changes considered necessary will be made to the documents."

The zone's first phase, on the 72-hectare site, takes up the bulk of the land. The second is within the neighbouring BAE site and will be dependent on the aerospace giant's operational needs.

Further consideration is being given to establishing a small central amenities area, which could include a gym, creche, cafe and convenience store, to serve zone tenants.

Upgrades to the Swallow junction at Samlesbury and the M6 junction 31 are still envisaged as part of the wider masterplan.

Supporters say the "levels of development on the enterprise zone to date have not yet triggered these final two measures".