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11,000 new jobs hope for Cumbria

Business chiefs believe that 11,000 jobs could be created in west Cumbria and Barrow.

They say the jobs could follow if the Government backs their plans for an enterprise zone on two sites – Lillyhall, near Workington and Barrow Waterfront.

Enterprise zones are a central plank of the coalition Government’s policy to revive the economy.

They attract investment by providing tax breaks, simplified planning laws and superfast broadband.

Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership has tabled an ‘expression of interest’ in setting up Britain’s Energy Coast Enterprise Zone to build on strengths in the nuclear and gas industries.

It is one of 28 such bids across the country but only 10 will be successful.

The expression of interest says: “The proposed zone would create 1,240 direct jobs by 2015, and a total of 8,000 over time, with a further 3,440 indirect jobs in the wider area, in new and existing businesses.”

Employment creation on this scale would transform some of the most deprived areas of the county and offset job losses at Sellafield and in the Barrow shipyard.

The expression of interest argues that an enterprise zone could “unlock significant development and growth, which would not otherwise take place”.

The document adds: “Two sites within one zone are proposed to target opportunities in different growth sectors of the energy market.

“Lillyhall, Workington, for nuclear and low-carbon technologies, and Barrow Waterfront for offshore-renewable-energy generation and gas storage.”

Chancellor George Osborne named 10 enterprise zones in his Budget in March. None was in Cumbria.

Eleven more will be announced this summer, one in London and the others in English regions. Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has accepted Cumbria’s expression of interest and will ask Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership to work up detailed proposals.

Businesses moving into an enterprise zone pay no business rates for five years.

Local authorities will keep the proceeds from any growth in business rates within the zone for up to 25 years.

Most planning applications will no longer have to be approved by local authorities.

And the Government will use public money, if any is needed, to ensure that superfast broadband is available.

Have your say

It's poor transport links which is the biggest barrier to West Cumbria's future development. What the area really needs to make it attractive to business is a small airport somewhere near the coast. Otherwise business will keep on considering the area too remote to invest in as it takes an age to travel here from say London or even the Midlands by car or train.

Posted by Andy J on 2 June 2011 at 09:38

To add 11000 more jobs to the supposed 15000 jobs if we go ahead with to more nuclear plants is wonderfull news for cumbria, unless like 98 percent of cumbrians you live in the real world this would probably be more like 1100 and 1500 respectively,stop making this rubbish up the cumbrian people are sick and tired of pipe dreams,missinformation and "what ifs",i have more chance of flying concorde than seeing 11000 worker find jobs in cumbria,to put it mildly "Do you think were thick or something".

Posted by James O on 31 May 2011 at 08:23

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