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Friday, 18 April 2014

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Window firm West Port pledges commitment to Maryport

One of Maryport’s largest employers has pledged to stay in the town.

West Port, which employs 200 people at its Solway Industrial Estate factory, wants to expand in the town but managing director Sean Parnaby said the firm was being pushed to open a new plant near Workington.

West Port has been working with Allerdale council planners for two years to identify land to extend the factory. They found a site at Lillyhall, which could be developed quickly.

Mr Parnaby said he was disappointed with the findings, as he wanted to develop his firm in Maryport. He is already in talks to extend his existing lease.

He said Allerdale council was pushing West Port towards Lillyhall, because of a policy to have all manufacturing based there.

He said it could spell disaster for Maryport and that a proposal to build more houses in the town was pointless if there was no business development.

Mr Parnaby said: “It seems that the development policy for Allerdale is to have all manufacturing based in Lillyhall without a clear plan on how to develop areas such as Maryport.

“Without a forward plan for Maryport industrial estates they will become derelict and nobody will want to invest here.

“Building houses can only work if people have jobs.

“This is where we want to stay and where I will be fighting to stay. We certainly have no plans to move anywhere else in the near future.”

Mr Parnaby said the firm’s old factory was becoming unsuitable for the expanding business, but added: “We are one of the largest employers left in Maryport. We have a stable workforce. Why would we want to move from the town?”

Mr Parnaby said he was having discussions with Cumbria County Council and Allerdale council chief executive Harry Dyke to try to find a suitable town site for a new factory.

West Port is the UK’s third largest manufacturer of bespoke timber-framed windows and doors.

Kevin Kerrigan, Allerdale council’s head of development services, said Lillyhall was seen as a key strategic employment site, but the council wished to see employment land and development distributed across the district.

He added: “The emerging local plan for Allerdale seeks to enhance the role of Maryport as a key residential, employment and visitor centre and supports the refurbishment of existing employment sites such as the Glasson, Solway and Risehow industrial estates.

“The council and its partners will continue to work with West Port to secure the long term future of the business in Allerdale.”

West Port recently won major contracts including a deal for a new Center Parcs site.

Have your say

Whats the point of having all the manufacturing / businesses all up at Lillyhall when there isn't even a mediocre transport network up to there. Most large business parks elsewhere have their own tram / train stops

Posted by Jock McTavish on 23 January 2013 at 13:17

Whats the correlation with houses in Maryport and jobs? Most people in Maryport do not work in the town, it because basically a domatory town (just like Cockermouth, Aspatria etc) - people want to live there but dont mind driving or catching the bus or train to Workington, Whitehavben, Sellafield etc

Posted by John on 21 January 2013 at 08:36

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