South Lakeland, Barrow, and Lancaster City Councils are looking to form a partnership to encourage private sector investment and development around Morecambe Bay.
Areas of focus for the Lancaster and South Cumbria Economic Region will be advanced manufacturing, energy, life sciences, education, and tourism, while there will also be the potential for the newly-formed group to bid for Growth Deal money.
Potential investment areas could also be formed around the region’s two major ports, Heysham and Barrow. Development opportunities include Lnacaster’s Canal Quarter; the Eden Project North; the Westmorland Shopping Centre & K Village developments – where the former shopping outlet is to be converted into a hotel – and Barrow town centre, where £12m is being invested into a new health centre.
The three councils are looking to sound out businesses for feedback and ideas, before future investment plans are finalised. The LSCER will run concurrently with existing structures, and is designed not to add additional layers to local government within the region.
Cllr Giles Archibald, leader of South Lakeland Council, said: “Across the three districts we have fabulous, world-leading businesses and by working together, we can be greater than the sum of our parts and contribute in an even more effective way to our shared economic growth.
“This is not about replacing existing initiatives but working collaboratively to stimulate greater economic success and prosperity for our businesses and residents. The potential for what we could achieve together is huge and I am excited to see how our businesses engage with us on this project and inform the next steps to a better future for us all.”