THOUSANDS of jobs and homes are on the way to Cumbria after the Government announced a multi-million pound shot-in-the-arm to the county’s economy.
Cumbria’s Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is to receive an initial £9.1 million to improve infrastructure and skills to help the region grow.
And the county has been provisionally allocated a further £17.7 million from 2016/2017 onwards.
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It is estimated the deal will create 2,000 new jobs from eight major projects which are set to begin next year.
The growth deal, announced by David Cameron, is also expected to see a further 3,000 homes built in the county and trigger a £50m spend of public and private investment.
The Prime Minister said: “By trusting local people, backing business and investing in infrastruc-ture, skills and housing, we can create thousands of new jobs.
“And that means more economic security, peace of mind and a brighter future for hardworking people in Cumbria.”
Highlights from the package include:
- Measures to improve public transport links on the A591 between Kendal and Keswick.
- Improvements to transport in and around Kendal, allowing housing development and business growth.
- Improved access to south Ulverston to support the expansion of hi-tech companies and housing development.
- Advanced Technology Training Centre at Furness College to service the demand for skills training in the region.
- Other measures include:
- Nearly £5 million will be ploughed into improve-ments and road widening on North Lonsdale Road and Quebec Street, Ulverston, to support the forecasted growth of blue-chip companies, including GlaxoSmithKline.
- Around £2 million will be given to bolster links between transport hubs and ‘jewel’ destinations along the A591 corridor - improving bus routes, lay-bys and footpaths – and creating 450 jobs by 2020.
- South Lakeland District Council’s Local Plan for employment and housing in Kendal will be boosted by £2.3m over a two-year period to fund delivery of the required infrastructure.
George Beveridge, chair of Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Cumbria’s approach of being realistic, pragmatic and focused has paid off.
“These projects will deliver economic growth and jobs right across the whole county in both rural and urban areas.”
South Lakes MP Tim Farron said: “To help businesses we need to deal with the pinch points and traffic issues that Kendal faces. This is something regularly mentioned to me by local business owners and I regularly raise it with the government and our local councils.”
He added: “I have long argued, lobbied and pressed ministers to devolve power and funds from Westminster to Cumbria. It allows us to make the decisions and invest in the future of our economy.”
South Lakeland District Council’s Coun Peter Thornton. said: “We've won this funding because we've worked together with the other five district councils and the county council and put aside any party differences to do so