A CUMBRIAN engineering firm is looking to double its workforce as part of plans for a new Penrith headquarters.

Barrnon Ltd, based in Appleby Business Park, has lodged an application with Eden District Council last week for the site on land north of Mile Lane.

The firm is looking to build an "industrial building for research and development" - this includes a "workshop, test areas, offices, exhibition space, coffee shop and an underground car park alongside site works to include gated entrances, turning heads, set-down areas and an overflow car park".

According to the design and access statement: "The applicant is a UK-based specialist engineering company that provides turnkey solutions to environmental challenges.

"It specialises in robotic engineering solutions for challenging environments – including the decommissioning of nuclear facilities.

"The Site would operate primarily around the applicant’s nuclear industry workflow.

"The applicant is currently based at Appleby Business Park from where it has operated for a number of years.

"It has outgrown the space available at Appleby and requires a much larger premises, both to serve existing contracts but also to allow it to grow and secure the larger contracts that demand more floorspace and more staff.

"Recruiting specialist staff is one of the main challenges faced by the Applicant.

"The Applicant has contracts in the pipeline that will require a doubling of its workforce over the space of the next few years.

"Appleby is difficult to get to and is poorly served by public transport.

"This Site is a short walk/taxi ride from Penrith which benefits from excellent strategic transport links where the M6 meets the A66.

"This Site is a short walk or taxi from the town."

A public consultation ends May 15.

For information about the plans go to: plansearch.eden.gov.uk/fastweb

Application reference: 21/0355