Blueprint is aimed at creating 3,000 jobs and boosting skills
Last updated at 20:07, Thursday, 21 June 2012
More than 3,000 new jobs, support for small businesses, and a boost in skills and education was the message at the launch of Britain’s Energy Coast Blueprint last week.
The event, at Energus, Lillyhall, saw representatives from the skills and energy industries turn out to learn about the blueprint’s aims for the West Cumbrian economy over the next 15 years.
The plans are based on attracting £90bn investment and bringing to life the region’s aims of becoming a leader in the global energy market.
Tom Gilroy, acting chief executive of Britain’s Energy Coast, said the blueprint was a vehicle that would bring to reality the vision of the Britain’s Energy Coast Masterplan document from 2008.
He said: “It will be the key to unlock Cumbria’s potential and build on the skills, capabilities and facilities we already have here.
“It is about supporting new business start-ups and entrepreneurs, to encourage innovation which will in turn create new jobs and better prospects.
“This isn’t just another plan; this is a strategy with real aims, real responsibilities and real outcomes that will set West Cumbria up for the next 15 years.”
Mr Gilroy said some initiatives featured in the document were already under way, including the new University Technical College planned for Lillyhall and the Farmgen anaerobic digestion plant at Silloth.
He said that the University of Liverpool had confirmed it would set up a site at Westlakes Science Park, near Whitehaven, and would accommodate a facility for up to 300 students and 30 staff.
A group of students from Cockermouth School spoke about the challenges facing young people in West Cumbria.
Year 10 student Meghan Avery said: “Businesses need to come into school and tell us about the opportunities that are out there for us. It gives us a better understanding of how we can aim to learn, live and work in the area to helpdrive forward the prospects of West Cumbria.”
Workington MP Tony Cunningham spoke at the event, attended by about 200 people, and said the blueprint was building on what the area already had.
First published at 19:21, Thursday, 21 June 2012
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
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