A MULTI million pound shot-in-the-arm is to be given to Cumbria as part of a huge round of Government spending announcements made today.
The county is getting an initial £9 million cash injection to improve infrastructure and skills to help the region grow.
Altogether the county will receive £27 million over the next three years which it is estimated will create £2,000 new jobs through the green light being given to eight major infrastructure projects.
One of the projects will be to create a purpose-built Advanced Technology Training Centre at Furness College to service the demand for skills training, supporting the advanced manufacturing sector linked to the growth plans of GlaxoSmithKline at Ulverston and BAE Systems, Barrow.
Some of the cash will deliver a package of small-scale highways infrastructure projects to support the forecast growth in manufacturing from major blue-chip companies in Ulverston, including GSK. The money will improve the accessibility to sites and increase highway capacity in Ulverston.
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And cash has also been earmarked to ‘optimise connectivity’ 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.
George Beveridge, Chair of Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, said: "This is a great result for Cumbria. Not only has every single one of our eight major capital projects bidding for Local Growth Fund (LGF) cash 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 £12 billion 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.”