EAST Lancashire is to share in a £240 million enterprise and transport investment to provide better connections between employment areas and rail and bus stations.

Key schemes including improvements to the Clitheroe to Blackburn to Manchester rail corridor and repairs to Burnley’s Centenary Way viaduct are going ahead as part of the Lancashire Growth Deal, alongside county priorities such as the A6 Broughton bypass and new links roads between the M55 and Preston and St Annes.

The Whitehall announcement will see £84.2 million invested in the first year, with an indication award of a further £149.6 million from 2016-17, with the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) taking the lead over where the money should go.

Edwin Booth, LEP chairman, said: “The growth deal will establish an investment package worth over £360m with the potential to create more than 4,000 new jobs in Lancashire over the coming years.”

County council leader Jennifer Mein said: “We will work hard to deliver new jobs, homes and business growth opportunities, which will help to re-establish Lancashire as a leading national economic centre.”

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg was in Blackpool and Preston yesterday to launch the Lancashire spending round.

Mr Clegg said: “We’re placing the power and money in the hands of people in Lancashire who know how to spend it best, making a real difference to local communities.”