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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

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Land plan could mean jobs boost for Workington

Workington could be in line for a major jobs boost as ambitious plans have been revealed to develop three stretches of land in the town.

Mark Fryer photo
Mark Fryer

The council-owned land has been earmarked for a range of retail, housing and leisure developments, which would generate significant money for reinvestment.

Allerdale’s leading executive will meet next week to discuss the detail of a joint venture partnership, which would manage the sale of the surplus land.

The authority wants to create jobs, regenerate disused and derelict areas of land, attract commercial investment and build new homes and businesses.

The identified land is Ashfield Road South and Ellerbeck Lane which is allocated for housing; land next to Derwent Park rugby ground which has received interest from national retailers and the area next to Allerdale House for leisure and hospitality use.

Mark Fryer, executive member with responsibility for economic growth, said: “Conversations have taken place with commercial companies to assess the market and all the indications are that there is a high demand for investment in Allerdale which is great news for communities, for jobs, for training and for the future.”

The council has been working with Lucent Strategic Land Fund. Based in the Isle of Man, the firm is already working with North Lincolnshire Council to build 6,000 homes.

The council says there has already been interest from potential investors and said the three town sites chosen would be the first phase of the partnership approach, with other sites to follow.

Mr Fryer added: “If this partnership is approved, Lucent Strategic Land Fund will bring the commercial relationships, expert knowledge, and the funding to open doors with businesses. That’s something the council could not do on its own.

“This would be a very structured approach to land redevelopment. This partnership would enable us to get to the right people in the commercial sector – and get the right development projects on the right sites.

“We will also be able to look at the borough as a whole and plan developments strategically.”

The executive will meet on Wednesday to discuss plans.

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