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Monday, 01 September 2014

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£1m boost for west Cumbria's economy

West Cumbria’s economy is set for a £1 million boost this year thanks to a funding pot from the nuclear industry.

Nuclear photo
The money is coming from nuclear industry

Britain’s Energy Coast has agreed to give up to £500,000 each to Allerdale and Copeland councils.

The money must be spent on projects to help boost business.

Projects it supports must complement the West Cumbria Economic Blueprint, which aims to help business by optimising nuclear investment, promoting diversification and making west Cumbria an attractive place to invest.

The blueprint was drawn up by Britain’s Energy Coast, the nuclear industry, Allerdale, Copeland and Cumbria councils, Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership and businesses.

Its aims fit with Allerdale council’s priorities to reduce poverty, boost economic development and town centres and enhance sports, arts and leisure.

Kevin Kerrigan, head of development services at the council, said: “It is considered that the social investment fund provides an opportunity for the council to respond in a flexible manner to support employment and economic growth in Allerdale and to respond quickly to opportunities for, or threats to, local employees or encourage investment in Allerdale.”

It is expected that money from the fund will be given as grants but there may be opportunities for it to be used to provide loans, invest in equity or buy property.

The council’s executive committee agreed that corporate director Paul Shackley should be responsible for allocating the money.

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