Fracking boost ‘tops £1.4m in Lancashire’

The Preston New Road fracking site
The Preston New Road fracking site

Energy firm Cuadrilla has published updated figures showing the economic impact of its operations at Preston New Road.

The company, which intends to drill for shale gas at land near Little Plumpton, said its direct spend in Lancashire since the start of 2016 now stands at more than £1.1m.

These latest figures clearly demonstrate that with works beginning at our Preston New Road exploration site, Lancashire has significantly benefited from shale gas right from the start

Independently verified figures, updated to include the first three months of 2017, put the indirect benefit to the county – through local sub-contacting – at £329,000.

Opponents of fracking, however, have dismissed the figures as a PR stunt and say the long-term impacts will outweigh the financial gain.

Francis Egan, CEO of Cuadrilla, said: “These latest figures clearly demonstrate that with works beginning at our Preston New Road exploration site, Lancashire has significantly benefited from shale gas right from the start.

“We are proud to continue to put Lancashire first in terms of how we do business and as a responsible member of the local community.

“The tracker demonstrates how we are making our commitments to the county a reality.”

Bob Dennet, of Frack Free Lancashire, said: “History tells us from other places, these companies make all the promises and find some way of wriggling out of them.

“There is no reason we should trust this industry.”

Since it was relaunched in January, more than 400 Lancashire-based business have registered with the Supply Chain Portal to be considered for contracts connected to the Preston New Road shale gas operation.

Visit www.shalegaslancashire.co.uk for more details.

The next tracker update will be published in July.