THREE Cumbrian councils are working together to support economic growth on employment sites along the M6 corridor.

Leaders of South Lakeland Distrct Council, Eden District Council and Carlisle City Council signed the Cumbria M6 Corridor Initiative in front of the area’s three MPs.

It binds them together to promote economic growth, making it easier for businesses to relocate to the area, provide employment sites within easy reach of main transport routes, seek to attract new and growing investment, market the corridor from junction 36 to 44 as an area open for business and to upgrade infrastructure and communication networks.

Leader of SLDC, Coun Peter Thornton, said: “South Lakeland's close proximity to the M6 provides businesses with excellent transport links in the North West and beyond. By working in partnership with our partner authorities and our three MPs, we can promote and invest in this key area of Cumbria.”

The corridor initiative recognises that all three councils are promoting growth through their planning policy documents covering housing, employment and business growth.

And it seeks to integrate this focus and build on the county’ strengths in business areas such as manufacturing.

Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron said he was delighted to join council leaders Peter Thornton, Gordon Nicholson and Joe Hendry along with local MPs Rory Stewart and John Stevenson to sign the agreement.

“The economy is central to all that we do and this is another important part of our campaign to bring well paid jobs, infrastructure and investment to South Lakeland,” he said. “I look forward to working together in the coming months and years to bring the skills and new businesses that our area needs to grow and expand.”

Penrith and the Border MP Rory Stewart said: "The M6 corridor project is an excellent example of what we as MPs in Cumbria should be doing more of: working together for the greater good of our county, and putting party politics aside to highlight what we can do, in co-operation, to grow our economy, support our businesses and communities, and generate prosperity for all.

“The M6 is a symbolic road, stretching right through the heart of Cumbria, and is a lifeline to our businesses and industries. We want the M6 corridor to be an example for rural Britain, showing how we can attract investment and development that will power our economy as we move out of recession.”

Eden District Council’s Leader, Coun Gordon Nicolson, said: “The availability of good employment sites and first class communication links area real opportunity for business. Our council is looking for higher paid jobs and progressive employment opportunities for our young people; this project has the capacity to deliver both.”