A group of young people tasked with influencing key decisions on the economic future for Cumbria has met for the first time.

Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership’s Futures Forum met in late January.

The forum consists of 16 people aged 18 to 35, which the LEP says are "committed to making sure that their views and that of their peers seriously influence Cumbria’s economic strategy and investment decisions".

The forum will develop proposals to be considered by the LEP board and other governance bodies.

Members are also set to receive developmental support, including mentoring, to help them to progress in their careers and operate at board level.

Andrew Wren, principal and chief executive of Furness College and the LEP board member responsible for championing diversity, said: “We had an excellent first meeting and I was genuinely delighted by the energy, enthusiasm and commitment to making a difference to Cumbria that the Futures Forum members showed.

“We were clear that we wanted members to be as representative of our geography and economic sectors and be well balanced in terms of age and gender and it was evident that we have achieved this.

“I have agreed to chair the forum until members have decided how they want to take this forward themselves.”

Jo Lappin, the LEP’s chief executive, said: “On the basis of our inaugural meeting, a clear agenda for action is already developing, with members really keen to explore how they could support the CLEP’s work on promoting Cumbria as a great place to live, work and invest; innovation and net zero carbon and clean energy generation.

"The next meeting will focus on developing thinking around these themes.

“The forum will also have an important role in considering CLEP board papers in advance of each board meeting, so that their views can be fed back to the board.

"I am very much looking forward to the next meeting in March."