Lancashire is a non-metropolitan county of historic origin in the North West of England. It takes its name from the city of Lancaster, and is sometimes known as the County of Lancaster. Although Lancaster is still considered to be the county town, Lancashire County Council is based in Preston. Lancashire is sometimes referred to by the abbreviation Lancs, as originally used by the Royal Mail.
Lancashire in the 19th century was a major centre of industrial activity and hence of wealth. Activities included mining and textile production, though on the coast there was also fishing. Lancashire was historically the location of the port of Liverpool while Barrow-in-Furness is famous for shipbuilding.
Today the largest private industry in Lancashire is the defence industry with BAE Systems Military Air Solutions division based in Warton on the Fylde coast. The division also operates a manufacturing site in Samlesbury. Other defence firms include BAE Systems Global Combat Systems which operates a site at Chorley, Ultra Electronics in Fulwood and Rolls-Royce plc in Barnoldswick.
The nuclear power industry has a major presence with the Springfields plant at Salwick operated by Westinghouse and Heysham nuclear power station operated by British Energy. Other major manufacturing firms include Leyland Trucks which is a subsidiary of Paccar and builds the DAF truck range.
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