Businesses in Lancaster and Morecambe are being encouraged to apply for a new government grant.
Dukes, Castle and Bulk Wards in Lancaster, and Poulton, Westgate and Overton in Morecambe have been granted “assisted area status”, because they have been deemed as economically weak.
Businesses in these wards are now being targetted to bid for additional funding and tax breaks in order to create jobs and invest in new premises or machinery.
The assisted area takes in key industrial areas including the Port of Heysham and White Lund Industrial Estate.
Under the scheme, businesses will be eligible to apply for regional aid, which is typically offered as capital investment for businesses in developing local economies.
Programmes in England that already offer regional aid include the Regional Growth Fund and the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain initiative.
Lancaster MP Eric Ollerenshaw said: “The wards getting assisted area status means that we have a chance to generate investment in real growth in our local economy, expanding businesses and creating more jobs.”
MP for Morecambe and Lunesdale David Morris said: “I am certain this will really boost the local economy.”
Coun Eileen Blamire, leader of Lancaster City Council, said that the council had a hand in making the case for the status.
She added: “It’s fantastic news and we can now look forward to driving forward the economic development of these areas and, in turn, the district as a whole.”