The Nuclear Decommissioning Agency is among the partners for the skills hub. Credit: Copeland Council

Funding corralled for Cumbria supply chain hub

Financial backing from various sources, including a renewed Levelling Up Fund bid, is being pulled together to advance the Industrial Solutions Hub at Cleator Moor.

Copeland Council has this week voted to accept £2.39m from the Sellafield impact fund, £7m from the Nuclear Decommissioning Agency’s socio-economic fund and to bid for LUF support, having failed in a £14m bid in 2021.

The ISH, which is also supported by the £22.5m Town Deal secured in 2021, is intended to bring employment, skills and training opportunities together in West Cumbria in a redevelopment of the Leconfield Industrial Estate and land owned by the local authority.

The partners said that economic assessment suggests it will generate more than 100 new jobs over a period of 18 months, with the overall scheme creating more than 700 new jobs in the next 10 to 15 years.

Mike Starkie, Mayor of Copeland, said: “This is an exciting day for Copeland, West Cumbria and the region.

“ISH will lift the aspirations of those living and working in Copeland and bring opportunities for all. Its reach can be global and its positive impact will be felt across Copeland, West Cumbria and beyond. This is the largest investment into Cleator Moor for generations.”

ISH is an initiative led by Copeland Council with the support of key stakeholders including the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Sellafield, Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership and private sector supply chain partners.

Jamie Reed, NDA director of socio-economics, said: “The NDA and Sellafield Ltd have worked with local partners over recent years to bring these ideas forward and to ensure that the Industrial Solutions Hub has reached this point.

“This is part of a series of socio-economic projects we have collectively helped to fund over recent years including Campus Whitehaven, the Bus Station and more.

“Our socio-economic agenda is an important part of our legacy as we continue to make progress against our decommissioning mission and we’re committed to working with local partners to co-create future projects that help to strengthen and diversify the local economy.”

Copeland said that “a range of businesses, entrepreneurs and organisations” have already been actively involved in conversations with ISH about wanting to take space at Leconfield.

The Town Deal project at Leconfield focuses on using funding offered by government and other sources to create a new, flexible hub and commercial building space as well as improvements and landscaping to the existing site.

Learn more about the Cumbrian property scene at Place North West‘s Cumbria Development Update.

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