Leconfield Copeland

Copeland submits £14m Levelling Up bid

Neil Tague

The local authority is working with Sellafield to develop the Cleator Moor Innovation Quarter, a supply chain hub at the Leconfield industrial estate site.

Backed by £1.14m of Growth Deal funding from the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, the local authority bought the industrial estate site in January, commissioning consultancy Avison Young to advise on its strategic long-term development. A masterplan has now been developed.

The site is around eight miles from Sellafield, four miles south east of Whitehaven.

Copeland Council now intends to create an innovation quarter, which is to act as the campus for the Industrial Solutions Hub, a project designed to house nuclear supply chain partners.

The council hopes that the CMIQ will allow the quadrupling of commercial space at the park and improve links with Cleator Moor itself, for which Towns Fund support of £22.5m has been secured from MHCLG.

Mapped out in the funding bid, the partners intend the site to house high quality facilities for skills and training, R&D, innovation, testing and manufacture. It will include enhanced community facilities.

John Maddison, ISH programme director, said: “The opportunity we have is to bring together Sellafield and the supply chain into a geographical cluster, the kind of cluster that’s been proven across the world to bring huge regional economic benefit.”

Pat Graham, chief executive of Copeland, said the development would allow the borough to “be more outward-focused, creating a new dynamic around the Sellafield capability”.

The elected mayor of Copeland, Mike Starkie, added: The site will bring some long-lasting benefits, attrat new companies and enable us to build on the world-class nuclear capabilities that exist more in Copeland than anywhere else on the planet.”

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Now this is what the Levelling Up Fund should be used for, much more beneficial than a new façade on a market (Barrow)…

Hoping to see this funded!

By CP