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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

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Major roads scheme key to unlocking new jobs in north Cumbria

A major roads scheme could be the key to unlocking 730 new full-time jobs, says the county council.

Penrith road improvements graphic
The planned improvements. Click here for larger image

The Government has approved a £2.3 million package of improvements to the access points into the Eden Business Park and Gilwilly Industrial Estate in Penrith.

Work on the four-month project is likely to begin in October next year. A contractor has yet to be appointed.

The county believes the scheme will help unlock business growth in the town and lead to a potential £33.5m economic boost for Eden and 730 new full-time jobs.

Keith Little, the Cabinet member responsible for highways and transport, said: “By investing in these pinch points, which currently restrict access into the main economic engine for the town, we can unlock future growth.

"The Government has recognised the strength of Penrith’s case and seen the potential that this site has if we invest now."

The work involves changes to improve traffic flows into and out of the Gilwilly estate and Eden Business Park from junction 40 of the M6. They include new feeder lanes and the creation of a new double roundabout on Newton Rd to help link the estates.

As well as easing congestion in Penrith, the development will open up 12 hectares of new land on the Gilwilly, which has been identified for future growth.

Businesses and residents will be consulted in the run-up to the start of work, which will involve big public utility diversions. Efforts will be made to ensure existing links with the M6 and A66 are not disrupted, says the council.

The Department for Transport will give £1.6m towards the scheme, Cumbria County Council is providing a further £307,000, Eden council £150,000 and Cumbria LEP £235,000.

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