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Monday, 06 July 2015

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Hundreds of jobs for South Cumbria as government invests millions

CUMBRIA is to benefit from a £26.8m government cash injection – with much of the cash allocated to Barrow and Ulverston.


The Department for Business Innovation & Skills announced today what funding will be made available to the country’s 39 Local Enterprise Partnerships.

And Cumbria is celebrating a clean sweep, with all eight projects included in its bid receiving funding.

The money has been allocated, among other projects, to:

Along with the remaining four projects, the schemes will create a projected 1,965 jobs.

George Beveridge, chairman of Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “This is a great result for Cumbria.

“Not only has every single one of our bids received funding, but all but one have received 100 per cent of what was asked for.

“Cumbria’s approach of being realistic, pragmatic and focused has paid off.

“We understand that the Local Growth Fund was at least three times over-subscribed, meaning competition was strong.

“These projects will deliver economic growth and jobs right across the whole county in both rural and urban areas.

“All of the major private and public sector voices in Cumbria are backing this plan and are backing the delivery of the projects that now have the green light.

“There is £12bn worth of major scheme investment already in the pipeline for Cumbria, and this new money will help deliver the infrastructure, skills base and support needed to support that investment. The Cumbrian economy is at a watershed moment and it’s important that we now know that we have government backing for our priority schemes.”

The Cumbria Strategic Economic Plan, the ‘Four Pronged Attack’, was submitted to the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills at the end of March 2014, along with bids from 38 other English LEPs.

It was the first time the Cumbrian LEP had gone through such an exhaustive process of internally prioritising its capital funding schemes and compiling an extensive bid to government. Cumbria focused on four priority areas of growth.

They were advanced manufacturing growth, nuclear and energy excellence, vibrant rural and visitor economy and strategic connectivity of the M6 corridor.

In February of this year Barrow and Furness Mp John Woodcock organised a Westminster meeting between a range of Furness and Cumbrian manufacturers and business minister Michael Fallon MP.

At the meeting it was emphasised to Mr Fallon that Cumbria is an emerging force for advanced manufacturing – and not just a backwater with a certain renown for hospitality and tourism.

Mr Woodcock said: “I am glad to have been able to give strong support to the Local Enterprise Partnership in its bids and I am delighted that these awards have been directed towards assisting advanced manufacturing.

“The success of these bids will only add to the economic regeneration of Furness and south Cumbria which is already earmarked for investment beyond that which was needed to stage the last Olympic Games.

Peter Thornton, leader of South Lakeland District Council, said: “This is really good news.

“GSK have shown a huge amount of faith and commitment to South Lakeland and it’s good that we’ve been able to work with government to repay that with a commitment of our own.

“We live in a beautiful area but transport is a big challenge and anything that helps improve that is very welcome.”

Tim Farron, MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, added: “This package of measures will boost our local economy and will stimulate growth. This deal is good news for South Lakeland and for the whole of Cumbria.”

Advanced Technology Training Centre at Furness College
THIS project will see a purpose-built training facility developed to service the demand for skills training, supporting the advanced manufacturing sector linked to the BAE Systems and GSK growth plans.
The majority of the funding will be provided by Furness College, which is underwriting the overall project.
The bid to the Local Growth Fund has been fully met, with £1.2m to be provided over the two-year funding period.
Now that funding has been secured, the tendering process for a design and build contractor will start immediately, with construction expected to start at the beginning of 2015.
Furness College anticipates the new training centre will open in the beginning of 2016 and by 2020, the scheme will have created 200 jobs.

High-tech supply chain base at Barrow Waterfront
THIS scheme will establish a Successor Enterprise Zone at the Ramsden Business Park at Barrow Waterfront, with BAE Systems as an anchor tenant to act as the catalyst for attracting additional investment from supply chain firms and manufacturing businesses.
The majority portion of the bid to the Local Growth Fund has been met, with £5.5m to be provided over the two-year period (the full bid from the Cumbria LEP was for £7.2m, meaning the geographical area of the Enterprise Zone is likely to be slightly smaller than the 10-hectare site originally envisioned).
It is anticipated that BAE Systems will submit its planning application for its new logistics facility this autumn, with work on-site anticipated for 2015.
An anticipated 190 jobs will be created by the project by 2020.

Ulverston access improvements
THIS project will deliver a package of small-scale highways infrastructure improvements to support the forecast growth in manufacturing from major blue-chip companies, including GSK.
Projects include improvements and road widening on North Lonsdale Road and Quebec Street and will improve the accessibility to sites and increase highway capacity in Ulverston.
The bid to the Local Growth Fund has been fully met, with £4.5m to be provided over the two-year period.
Complementary to this investment is additional funding which is being sought from other sources to improve flood defences in Ulverston.
Now that funding has been confirmed, Cumbria County Council will work on the scheme design over the next year, with work on the ground scheduled to start in September 2015.
The net number of jobs created by the project by 2020 is estimated to be 243.

Nuclear Technology Innovation Gateway
THIS will be the centrepiece of the Cumbria Centre of Nuclear Excellence programme.
It will provide a new £26.5m facility in West Cumbria to showcase UK excellence in fuels, computing, reprocessing and remote engineering.
The facility will incorporate R&D activities as well as a visitor and educational facility to demonstrate Cumbria’s place at the leading edge of nuclear technology.
The bid to the Local Growth Fund has been fully met, with £1.5m to be provided over the two-year period.
Remainder funding has been earmarked from University of Manchester, the National Nuclear Laboratory and European funding.
The University of Manchester will now proceed with design work for the facility, with the aim of submitting a planning application in early 2015 to enable start of construction in the summer of 2015. The development should be complete by the summer of 2017, with a net job creation by 2020 of 60.

Optimising Connectivity
THIS is a package of improvements designed to improve sustainable travel and access to visitor destinations within Cumbria.
It will improve links between transport hubs and “jewel” destinations along the A591 corridor – improving bus infrastructure, lay-bys and footpaths to bus stops.
It will dovetail with the current investment being provided through the GoLakes Travel partnership.
The bid to the Local Growth Fund has been fully met, with £2m to be provided over the two-year period.
Future years will see this programme expanded to cover other key visitor destinations elsewhere in Cumbria and a separate £1m has been submitted for revenue funding from the Local Sustainable Transport fund.
Cumbria County Council will begin the detailed design work in autumn 2014, with work expected to begin later in 2015.
The project will bring a jobs boom, with 450 anticipated positions created between now and 2020.

Other projects
- Durranhill: This project proposes access and road improvements to open up opportunities for the development of the 3.8ha site at Durranhill – a key employment site owned by Carlisle City Council.
The bid to the Local Growth Fund has been fully met, with £2m to be provided over the two-year period. Carlisle City Council can now progress with the scheme design and planning application for the new access road from Eastern Way and improvements to Brunel Way junction. Work should start in April 2015 and be completed by the end of 2015.

Net number of jobs to be created by the funding by 2020: 102

- Renewal in Kendal: South Lakeland District Council has allocated land for employment (25ha) and housing development (2,400 new homes) in Kendal in its recently adopted Local Plan. This scheme comprises a number of highways improvements and sustainable travel investment to support this anticipated growth. The bid to the Local Growth Fund has been fully met, with £2.3m to be provided over the two-year period. as a recoverable investment to fund early delivery of the infrastructure required to unlock development on the allocated sites. Cumbria County Council will now progress with the scheme design work, with work scheduled to start next year.

Net number of jobs to be created by the funding by 2020: 348

- MoD Longtown: The Ministry of Defence will be releasing 120ha of its Longtown site for a civilian commercial development exploiting the site’s rail connectivity with the Port of Workington and proximity to the M6. As well establishing the site as a logistics hub, other uses such as Green Energy projects, duty suspended storage and light manufacturing are being considered.

Have your say

How is there money for that but schools are making vital teachers & TA's redundant? Priorities. The big problem is youth unemployment. It's all great creating jobs but if we don't educate kids properly then they won't be employable for those shiny new jobs.

Posted by EL-T on 8 July 2014 at 13:37

Have you got your numbers right.
26.5M for the new visitor centre for nuclear ( I thought we already had one)
4.5m for Ulverston upgrade for GSK
2m for “jewel” destinations on the A591
7.2 or 5.5 for the barrow waterfront!

Thats more than the 26.8M allocated! Who has got the spin wrong here?

Posted by Steve on 8 July 2014 at 13:12

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