PROJECTS to revitalise Cleator Moor have taken a step forward as councillors have approved proposals for the spending of £22.5 million, afforded to the area by the Town Deal.

Copeland Council held an extraordinary meeting on Tuesday, approving the proposals for Cleator Moor’s regeneration, which will now be submitted to Government.

The full council also agreed to submit a second application for Levelling-Up funding which would benefit the redevelopment of Leconfield Industrial Estate and the Industrial Solutions Hub.

Mayor of Copeland Mike Starkie proposed that the council submits four business case summaries to the Department for Levelling-Up, Housing and Communities for the drawing down of £22.5 million from Cleator Moor’s Town Deal Bid.

Match funding will make up an additional £17.8 million.

READ MORE: Step forward for £22.5million Cleator Moor Town Deal regeneration

Mr Starkie said when the proposals were discussed by the leadership, that they will be "transformative" and that "blood, sweat and tears" had gone into the process.

Copeland’s business case for the regeneration of includes four key themes, making Cleator Moor a Enterprising Town, Revitalised Town, a Healthy Town and a Connected Town.

Councillors agreed the recommendation but not before questions were asked about how the regeneration projects will be affected by local government reorganisation.

Councillor Mike Hawkins said: "Has there been any discussions with the new Shadow Authority as the Shadow Authority I believe will have to sign-off on any deal?"

Copeland, Allerdale and Copeland will be governed by one unitary authority, Cumberland Council by April 1, 2023.

READ MORE: Plans unveiled for 30 self-build homes in Copeland

The new council is currently operating as a Shadow Authority, co-existing the current councils until the transition is complete.

Copeland Council Chief Executive Pat Graham said: "As you know we’ve been going through the Section 24 process, which gives us thresholds at which reference to any spend commitments by the sovereign authorities has to go through the shadow.

"The Town Deals across all of Cumbria and Future High Street bids and any other funding will all be caught by that at the appropriate time."

Cllr Joseph Ghayouba said: "While I welcome investment into the area, there are a few concerns I’ve got with this.

"One of the first things we were informed of as new Cumberland councillors was that there’s going to be a £38 million gap that we need to fill and looking at this particular project on this  agenda item, that £22.5 million accounts for 53 per cent of this project, so my question is where is the other 47 per cent coming from?"

Mr Starkie said: "In terms of the budget gap, that’s the revenue gap and this is all about capital projects. In terms of the 22.5 million that’s coming from Government. We do need match percentages and further on in the agenda today, we’ll be accepting £7 million which has now been signed-off by the NDA and other parts of it are detailed there, we’re getting £17.8 million in match funding from various sources."

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