A GOVERNMENT minister says he is “extremely confident” that new jobs will be created in Carlisle now funding has been secured for a new city bypass.

Jake Berry, Minister for the Northern Powerhouse, was speaking after the Government yesterday pledged £102m for the Southern Link Road.

It means that within five years the city will have a new bypass, connecting the M6 at Junction 42 to Peter Lane in the west of the city.

The bypass is integral to delivering a new 10,000-home garden village in south Carlisle, which politicians say will allow the city to grow.

Mr Berry said the investment shows Carlisle is seen as integral part of the Northern Powerhouse masterplan, to drive growth across the region. And he believes that new employment opportunities will now follow.

“We’ve seen all over the country where we’ve made these big investments that jobs and growth comes. I’m absolutely confident that with this new money and government-backing, the city will step up to the plate and really deliver for the wider Cumbrian family,” he said.

The roads cash is coming from the Housing Infrastructure Fund, to deliver a vital transport link and unlock the St Cuthbert’s Garden Village development plan.

The rest of the money for the £112m road project is coming from Carlisle City Council and Cumbria County Council, who will then recoup the cash from future developers.

Mr Berry said it is all part of a bigger vision.

“When I was appointed to this job my first visit was to the great city of Carlisle, in the true north.

“I said then that we are going to make sure Carlisle and the Borderlands are as much a part of the Northern Powerhouse as people see the city of Manchester. That is why we’ve made this decision.

“This is the biggest infrastructure investment in Carlisle in a generation.”

“We’ve set out a commitment as a government to support Carlisle and Cumbria.

“This is a huge down-payment of £100m on the overall plan, through Borderlands and the Northern Powerhouse, to create a growing economy. That’s one of the reasons that we’ve chosen Carlisle.”

Mr Berry paid tribute to Carlisle’s Conservative MP John Stevenson, who was appointed by the Prime Minister’s Borderlands champion, for “banging the drum” in parliament on behalf of his constituency.

He also praised cross-party working with Labour leaders of Cumbria County Council and Carlisle City Council, who he said shared their ambition and helped to get the project over the line.

He added that the future was looking bright not just for Carlisle, but the wider Cumbrian economy.

“The Northern Powerhouse is about creating growth, better jobs and more highly-paid jobs across the north of England.

“What we have seen in places like Manchester, Liverpool and Sheffield is that having a strong city hub in the centre of areas is the best way of driving that growth.

“Carlisle will be the engine driving the Borderlands and Northern Powerhouse in Cumbria. We are putting the building blocks in place so it can deliver.

“This is going to be a transport project that will change Carlisle for generations to come.”