Appointments made for West Cumbria delivery board

Michael Hunt

Private sector members with experience in energy, infrastructure, big business and social enterprise have been appointed to the West Cumbria Vision delivery board.

The board is responsible for prioritising and overseeing the delivery of Britain's Energy Coast regeneration projects in Copeland and Allerdale.

The appointments include:

  • Tony Price, chief operating officer of Redhall Group
  • Gerry McGill, vice chairman of Nuclear Management Partners and vice president of AMEC Power and Process
  • Iain Irving, stakeholder relations director at Sellafield
  • Nigel Catterson, from social enterprise consultants, nb21c, which is currently progressing the Solway Energy Gateway project
  • Brian Watson, former managing director of Sellafield

Stuart Cowperthwaite, former director of consultants White Young Green's Cumbria office, has been appointed programme director of the West Cumbria delivery team. Cowperthwaite has experience of regeneration and energy projects in West Cumbria, along with experience of project management, design and delivery of award-winning construction projects in the UK, United States, Belgium, France and Japan during his 18 years at Arup.

West Cumbria Vision delivery board is chaired by Brian Wilson, a former Government Energy Minister and director of several energy companies spanning nuclear to renewables.

Wilson said: "There is going to be major investment in this area and our challenge will be to maximise the benefits for the communities and businesses of West Cumbria."

It is responsible for overseeing the delivery of West Cumbria projects contained in the Britain's Energy Coast programme, a £2bn package of regeneration projects which aim to establish West Cumbria and Furness as a nationally significant area for low carbon and renewable energy production over the next 20 years, creating 16,000 jobs and boosting the area's economic performance by £800m each year.

The focus has now turned on the redevelopment of West Cumberland Hospital; commercial and leisure developments in Whitehaven; the creation of West Lakes Academy; building the case for nuclear new build at Sellafield; the residential and retail development at Port Derwent; an extensive Housing Market Renewal programme and the Roman Maryport initiative designed to improve the town's and West Cumbria's tourism offer.

The West Cumbria Vision delivery board has also been bolstered with new public sector members including Richard Waite, acting chief executive of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and David Chilton of the Homes and Communities Agency along with representatives from Cumbria Vision, North West Development Agency, Lake District National Park Authority; Cumbria County Council and Allerdale and Copeland borough councils.

West Cumbria Vision and Barrow Regeneration, formerly Barrow Vision, have been created from urban regeneration company West Lakes Renaissance, which is being maintained at board level only to guide and monitor the collective performance of both new organisations.

A board for Carlisle, Carlisle Renaissance, is already up-and-running; while the Eden and South Lakeland delivery board will be responsible for leading regeneration across a largely rural area encompassing most of The Lake District National Park. All boards will operate under the umbrella of economic development agency Cumbria Vision.

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