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Tuesday, 25 November 2014

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Investment set to boost area

MULTI-BILLION pound investment on the West Coast of Cumbria will also benefit Furness, the head of Britain’s Energy Coast has said.

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Tom Gilroy, acting chief executive of the organisation, said he hopes that up to £100bn will be invested in the West Coast economy.

He told a meeting of the Boosting Barrow and Furness Group that partnerships between the Energy Coast and businesses in Furness would benefit everyone.

He said: “I see Barrow as being a very, very important part of the partnerships that we are trying to develop.

“I had a meeting with Jackie Arnold (BAE Systems Submarine Solution’s head of financial governance and strategy) and Terry Waiting (from Keep Our Future Afloat Campaign). We had a good clear discussion, where we talked and tried to develop partnerships.

“I think between us, if we can work together and get some positivity going, then we can make a difference and punch above our weight down in Westminster.”

Mr Gilroy said projects such as the proposed MOX plants and underground nuclear storage could bring up to £100bn into the Cumbrian economy, and that businesses in Barrow could benefit from this investment.

Chairman of the group, Tim Bell, asked Mr Gilroy if Energy Coast was able to invest in businesses in Barrow.

Mr Gilroy replied that government legislation prevented this, but this would not prevent businesses from being able to gain on the back of successes in the West Coast.

He said: “If they were going to be doing the work in West Cumbria, then the answer to your question would be yes.

“We don’t see that as any reason why we can’t collaborate.”

Mr Gilroy unveiled a blueprint which revealed four areas of investment opportunity for the Energy Coast: optimising nuclear investment, diversification through innovation, supporting infrastructure and growing the area’s asset base.

Mr Gilroy also expressed his delight at the news that Glaxo SmithKline is to build a new £350m factory at its site in Ulverston.

He said: “The announcement was absolutely fabulous news for this area.

“We may well be 20 to 30 miles up the coast, but we are really pleased as well.”

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