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14 October 2022

Council Leaders submit bid for Cumbrian Investment Zones

Council Leaders have taken the next steps towards securing Investment Zones in Cumbria by submitting an Expressions of Interest bid to Government.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities is inviting places to put forward sites for inclusion in their Investment Zones programme in England as part of their ‘Growth Plan 2022’ which was launched on 23 September in a bid to unlock economic growth and speed up development.

These zones could benefit from a variety of tax incentives, regulatory innovations and planning flexibilities within specific site boundaries. 

Cumbria is one of 38 areas in the country that has been identified as a potentially suitable location to establish the new Investment Zones. The sites that are now being put forward for consideration in Cumbria are:

Cumberland:

  • Land at Oldside and Port of Workington
  • Land at Kingmoor Park Enterprise Zone, Carlisle
  • Land at Leconfield Industrial Estate, Cleator Moor

Westmorland:

  • Land at Barrow Waterfront, Barrow Port and Barrow Waterside
  • Land at GSK, Ulverston
  • Land at Junction 41 (Inspiring Eden)

The Expression of Interest will now be subject to assessment by the Government who will confirm which sites they wish to take forward to the next stage for development of an Investment Zone delivery plan.

On 1 April 2023, Cumbria County Council and the six district councils are due to be abolished and replaced with two new unitary councils, Westmorland and Furness and Cumberland. Should the Investment Zones progress, it will be the responsibility of these two councils to further develop and implement the plans for the Investment Zones in their areas.

Councillor Stewart Young, Leader of Cumbria County Council said:

“Investment Zones are not a new concept. They follow on from the Enterprise Zones model which we are familiar with here in Cumbria and have typically been for commercial development, however the Investment Zones programme also includes residential sites.

“Whilst I support the aim of attracting investment to boost our local economy, I want to be clear that any development at the sites that are being explored needs to provide high quality jobs and to be respectful of the environment. This is not about development at any cost.”

Cllr Mark Fryer, Leader of the Shadow Authority for Cumberland Council, added:

 “I’m pleased to see that an Expression of Interest has been submitted to the Government for Investments Zones across the Cumberland area in Carlisle, Workington and Cleator Moor. 

“We have an ambitious plan for Cumberland as outlined in our Council Plan that puts the wellbeing of our residents at the heart of everything we do. Any new scheme would need to support our objectives for a greener economy that builds wealth locally and provides opportunities for everyone.

“I look forward to having more detailed conversations with the Government on the benefits of how the new scheme can help us deliver our priorities.”

Councillor Jonathan Brook, Leader of Westmorland and Furness Shadow Authority, said:

"I am very keen for us to investigate further how these proposed Investment Zones could potentially accelerate economic growth and deliver housing in specific areas and pleased to see us take the next step by submitting a formal Expression of Interest.

"Our existing councils have worked hard and successfully over many years to stimulate, boost and support the economy, with sites identified for growth in varying stages of development, and this offer from government could be the ultimate key to the new Westmorland and Furness Council turning those visions into reality.

"There are still many details to be clarified before we would definitely proceed but it is our duty to engage with any offer which could potentially help us create a sustainable economy, grow the workforce and creating better access to jobs - all with the ultimate goal of improving the lives and life chances of our residents and making our many and varied communities as strong as they can be."


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Council Leaders have taken the next steps towards securing Investment Zones in Cumbria by submitting an Expressions of Interest bid to Government.