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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

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Huge economic hopes for Cumbria thanks to Britain's Energy Coast link

More than 3,000 new jobs, support for small businesses, and a boost in skills and education are among the benefits hoped for for the area thanks to it being a part of Britain’s Energy Coast.

The launch of the Energy Coast Blueprint at Energus, Lillyhall, brought together members of the skills and energy industries to learn about the document and its aims for west Cumbria’s economy over the next 15 years.

The plans are based on attracting £90bn of investment into the area and bringing to life the region’s aims of becoming a leader in the global energy market.

Tom Gilroy, acting chief executive of Britain’s Energy Coast, said the Blueprint was a vehicle to bring to reality the vision of the Britain’s Energy Coast Masterplan document from 2008.

He said: “The Blueprint will be the key to unlock Cumbria’s potential and build on the skills, capabilities and facilities we already have here.

“It is about supporting new business start-ups and entrepreneurs to encourage innovation which will in turn create new jobs and better prospects for the area.

“This isn’t just another plan, this is a strategy with real aims, real responsibilities and real outcomes that will set west Cumbria up for the next 15 years.”

Mr Gilroy added that some of the initiatives in the document were already underway including the new University Technical College planned for Lillyhall and the Albion Square development in Whitehaven. Mr Gilroy also announced that the University of Liverpool is to set up a site at Westlakes Science Park, near Whitehaven for 300 students and 30 staff.

During yesterday’s event students from Cockermouth School spoke about the challenges facing young people.

Year 10 pupil Meghan Avery said: “Businesses need to come into school and tell us about the opportunities that are out there for us and give us a better understanding of how we can aim to learn, live and work in the area to help drive forward the prospects of west Cumbria.”

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