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Thursday, 24 April 2014

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Cumbria business leaders open to potential of fracking

FRACKING could bring benefits to the Furness economy, an MP and local business leaders have claimed.

Fracking – which extracts shale gas by drilling into the earth then directing a high-pressure water mixture to release the gas inside – has come under fire amid fears it could pollute water supplies and cause small earthquakes.

Although South Cumbria may not have huge pockets of shale gas, there is still potential for the area to take advantage, according to Jackie Arnold, head of strategy and business planning at BAE Systems Maritime – Submarines, who is also the vice-chairman of Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership.

She said: “If it could be done safely then I’m sure it could make a contribution to our future energy supply and we do need that.

“If it could be done safely, I think we could be very well placed to take massive advantage of that.

“With the industry in our area involved in oil and gas, maybe there would be some broader benefits.”

Her views were echoed by Harry Knowles, executive director of Furness Enterprise.

He said: “We should look at fracking to make a contribution to the energy situation but with the right environmental safeguards and making sure local communities benefit.”

His views were echoed by Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock, who used the opportunity to highlight Barrow’s significant role as part of Britain’s Energy Coast.

He said: “I think it’s very unlikely fracking would come here but let’s not forget we have got massive opportunities offshore that could be greatly increasing in the coming months and years.”

Barrow Borough Council leader, Councillor Dave Pidduck, said Furness had only a small amount of shale gas underground.

He said: “There is only a tiny area locally that would be suitable, near Rampside, but it’s too small.”

The business leaders were talking at a Question Time-style event hosted by the Furness branch of the Federation of Small Businesses on Thursday.

Have your say

This is a terribly written article! sensationalist headline with a small comment right at the end that highlights what a waste of words this is: Barrow Borough Council leader, Councillor Dave Pidduck, said Furness had only a small amount of shale gas underground.

He said: “There is only a tiny area locally that would be suitable, near Rampside, but it’s too small.”

I was at the meeting and all of the comments are taken completely out of context. The discussion was about fracking in the UK to begin with.. and resulted in the room being told there was no suitable areas round here anyway. (bit of a waste of a conversation anyway)

Posted by Annon on 28 January 2014 at 17:49

And I bet none of them live near where the fracking would take place if they ever gave the go ahead for it here. I wonder if they would be happy to have it in their own back yard (so to speak) once they read the effects it has on the areas surrounding places that have already been fracked? No thank you very much - way too dangerous and I certainly do not want this any where near my home.

Posted by Vikki on 27 January 2014 at 18:56

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