Blueprint launch for investment and jobs
Last updated at 22:24, Thursday, 14 June 2012
A blueprint on the future of West Cumbria’s economy is being set out today in a bid to boost business and encourage growth.
The West Cumbria Economic Blueprint highlights the potential for creating more than 3,000 jobs and the need to capitalise on the region’s strengths in the likes of energy production.
At a launch event, held today at the Energus centre, Lillyhall, business and education leaders from around the area were due to learn about the 15-year plan set out by Britain’s Energy Coast.
The blueprint outlines a strategy – with timescales, responsibilities and costs – to help businesses expand, become more innovative and diversify.
As part of it, an ideal for an Innovation Zone has been designed to create an environment where businesses can gain access to support with the likes of research, expertise, skills and training, contracts and funding.
Some projects which are already under the Innovation Zone banner include the Construction Skills Centre, Lillyhall, the development of Workington engineering firm TIS Cumbria, and the Port of Workington container handling facility.
The plans look at the area’s strengths in manufacturing, precision engineering, and metal and chemical production as possible sectors for further growth in the future.
It also highlights the region as a globally recognised centre of expertise for the nuclear industry.
The blueprint sets an agenda of opportunity and investment for the area compared to the West Cumbria Masterplan document, drawn up in 2008, which was developed on the predicted closure of Sellafield and the loss of 8,000 jobs.
Workington MP Tony Cunningham said: “The blueprint provides a clear direction for investment which we need for the area.
“This is not just another plan, it is a developed unit about the public and private sector working closely to develop a real positive outcome for the area, bringing together a co-ordinated approach in the likes of skills, research and innovation.”
First published at 19:24, Thursday, 14 June 2012
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
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