MANUFACTURING firms in East Lancashire have benefited from a business upturn across the county in the last three months.

The latest Chamber of Commerce Quarterly Economic Survey showed 75 per cent of manufacturing firms in Lancashire reported that domestic sales had increased or remained static in the final quarter of last year.

This was nine per cent up on the previous three months.

The survey also identified growth in exports despite economic problems in the United States and Euro-zone.

There was positive news on employment as 35 per cent of manufacturers reported increased workforces in the final quarter of 2012, up seven per cent on the previous one.

Intentions to recruit are good with 34 per cent of firms expecting jobs to increase in the next three months, up 13 per cent on the previous quarter.

East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce chief executive Mike Damms said: “This survey bears out what we have noted. We have been encouraged by growth in the manufacturing sector and growing confidence.

“It reflects what we have seen in local companies such as Crown Paints in Darwen, Graham and Brown in Blackburn, Panaz in Fence, Aircelle in Burnley, Euravia in Nelson and Linemark in Rawtenstall.

“This is particularly important in East Lancashire which has been at the hub of making things since Victorian times.

“We have a long tradition of manufacturing industry here and a strong skill base.”