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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Cumbria coastal cash aids jobs plan

I SAID in January that winning new jobs for this area was one of my key targets for 2013 (and probably 2014 and 2015 as well).

Tim Farron
Tim Farron

So I was really pleased to pay a small part in the successful bid by the Morecambe Bay Partnership for nearly half a million pounds from the Coastal Communities Fund.

This fund was set up by the Coalition Government last year especially to invest in boosting coastal and seaside communities around the country. It was recognised that these are areas that have had more than their fair share of economic decline and that without support this could not be reversed.

In the first round of bidding last August Barrow successfully won £900,000 for their plans to grow businesses around the town and so it was great to see some money coming to another part of the peninsula.

The Morecambe Bay Partnership was the only West Coast project North of Devon to win funding UK. For some reason the East Coast seems more geared up to winning this investment than we are.

Their plans are to use the money to further develop the area around Morecambe Bay as a tourist destination, investing in the coastal cycle route and developing new training opportunities. Currently the Partnership estimates that the investment will result directly in over 30 new jobs being created in our area but if the initiatives they have planned work out and we see many more people visiting this part of the world on their holidays or just days out from cities in the North West, it could lead to so many more jobs.

However, it is not just these grander plans that can get help, last year the South Lakes Committee of Cumbria County Council announced the creation of a fund to support businesses who want to take on apprentices, providing work based training for young people not currently in employment or training. The first round of nine apprentices was announced in January and it really does make me feel quite proud to think that these are young people who could easily have been still without work or skills if it had not been for this scheme. There have been apprentices funded across the area from Ulverston to Sedbergh, all in smaller businesses ranging from IT support companies to hotels and GPs’ surgeries. The plans are for both of these schemes to hand out support twice a year.

These are just two of the targeted support the Government and local councils are offering to businesses and organisations to help them in creating work for areas like ours. I have mentioned others in previous columns in the Evening Mail.

If you would like to apply for some of this money and think I can help please do get in touch, I really want our part of the country to get its fair share of the money that is out there.

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