AN East Lancashire Conservative MP has hailed his local businesses for their contribution to the green shoots of national economic recovery.

Ribble Valley's Nigel Evans has welcomed Friday's official statistics which show that the UK’s economy grew by 0.6% in the first three months of the year.

He said: “These figures demonstrate the significant economic progress the UK is making.

"Following the pandemic, I am fully aware of the economic hardship that many of my constituents have endured, with the rise in prices and the cost of living.

"However, today’s announcement is highly encouraging.

"This progress alongside the fall in inflation rates should soon be seen directly by my constituents as mortgages rates fall from their peak and wages continue to grow in real terms for the ninth month in a row.

“From small local businesses to large scale global exporters Ribble Valley businesses have shown extreme resilience over the recent months of difficult economic circumstances.

"Lancashire and the Ribble Valley show no signs of slowing down as a hotspot for successful business growth.

“The recent economic growth we have seen has been led by services – including areas such as hospitality, arts, and entertainment, sectors the Ribble Valley holds in abundance and which continue to grow.

"The Ribble Valley already has an incredibly low unemployment rate of 1.9 per cent compared to the national rate of 4.2 per cent, however this economic boost for business will no doubt open up further job opportunities within the Ribble Valley in the months and years to come.”