New plan for M6 corridor to boost Cumbrian economy

14 August 2017 5:10PM

A developed M6 corridor would create thousands of new jobs in Cumbria, according to a major new report.

Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has publish a prospectus highlighting development opportunities for the area, which included recommendations for road and rail improvements.

It also highlights the infrastructure changes needed to help the county's economy grow.

This has been created by the LEP with Cumbria County Council, Carlisle City Council, Eden District Council and South Lakeland District Council.

The document is named the Strategic Infrastructure Prospectus for the M6 corridor and it has been created to showcase how important the corridor is for the Northern Powerhouse project.

It is aimed at both central government and private sector investors and features three sections focusing on the northern, central and southern sections of the M6 corridor.

Proposed road improvements include dualling the A69 east of Carlisle and the A66 east of Penrith and upgrading the A590 to improve access from the M6 to the Furness Peninsula.

Rail plans include an upgrade of passenger access and rail facilities at Carlisle's railway station, improvements to Penrith's station, and an upgrade to the Furness line.

Better access to Carlisle Airport has also been put forward to make the most of its potential for passengers and freight.

LEP chairman George Beveridge said: “The M6 corridor is a critical national artery and needs to be a major focus of growth and investment, particularly in the context of the scale and nature of investment due to come into Cumbria over the next 10 years.

“While the corridor is already prospering, collectively we can achieve much more. The county has a rich portfolio of investment opportunities, but there is a critical need for infrastructure investment to bring them alive.

“Our aim is to use this publication to strengthen the nationally important transport role of the M6 corridor, unlock major new investment opportunities and deliver jobs and employment in line with Northern Powerhouse growth aspirations.”

The LEP has state that development of the corridor will help deliver thousands of new jobs, increase the county’s economic output and provide the infrastructure required for new housing.

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