Local authorities in south Cumbria are preparing to push for £250,000 of funding each year from the Government to support an economic partnership around Morecambe Bay.

Over the last two years Barrow Borough, South Lakeland District and Lancaster City councils have been gradually moving towards developing a growth deal for the Lancaster and South Cumbria economic area, similar to the Borderlands project in the north of the county.

They have now formed the the Lancaster and South Cumbria Joint Committee, which incorporates the council leaders and chief executives, which met for the first time last month.

At the meeting, members of the committee discussed the draft Bay Prosperity and Resilience strategy for the region.

Outlined in the draft report is a request for £250,000 per annum from Government for two years to be used as a project development fund.

Darren Wisher, managing director of consultants Hatch Regeneris which compiled the report, said the funding funding was “essential” to take the project forward.

He said: “Organisations like the Borderlands partnership have funding of this nature to help them build up the business cases for joint initiatives, to do some of the important feasibility work that’s required to build up business cases and secure capital funding for projects. In the current climate it’s very, very difficult for authorities to forward fund that type of activity.”

The councils are now set to finalise the report.

Last month they formally asked the Government to consider the cross-boundary partnership in discussions about devolution.