Cumbria Vision appoints new chairs to delivery boards

Michael Hunt

Cumbria Vision's board of directors has been bolstered with the appointment of all four chairs of the county's economic delivery boards.

New private sector members have also been appointed to bring fresh ideas on the important issues of energy, businesses and enterprise.

The Cumbria Vision directors include:

  • Brian Wilson, chair of West Cumbria Vision delivery board
  • Murray Easton, chair of Barrow Vision delivery board
  • Bryan Gray, chair of Carlisle Renaissance
  • Mandy Dixon, interim chair of Eden and South Lakeland delivery board

Independent member George Beveridge, deputy managing director at Sellafield, has been appointed to advise on energy while John Hudson, managing director of BAE Systems Submarine Solutions, will advise on business and enterprise.

The leaders of Cumbria's district councils have also been appointed along with Bill Jefferson OBE, chair of the Lake District National Park Authority and Deborah McLaughlin, North West regional director of the Homes and Communities Agency.

Roger Liddle, chair of Cumbria Vision, said: "Cumbria Vision now has a strong partnership involving all the main players allowing the focus to shift to what is most important to the businesses and communities of Cumbria – getting on with the job of delivering major regeneration projects across the County.

"We now have four delivery boards tasked with the delivery of key regeneration projects, focusing on our major strengths of low carbon energy and our unique "destination" – not just as a place to visit, but a place to live, learn, work and invest.

Bill Lowther OBE, chair of Cumbria Strategic Partnership; Robin Burgess, managing director of CN Group; and Richard Mrowicki, head of stakeholder relations at the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, have all retired from the Cumbria Vision board.

The Cumbria Vision board of directors is charged with overseeing the development and implementation of the Cumbria Economic Strategy 2009-2019 and Cumbria Sub Regional Action Plan 2009-2012.

An important part of its function is to oversee the work of Cumbria's four geographically focused delivery boards, ensuring regeneration projects identified as having greatest potential to create sustainable jobs, attract private sector investment and boost tourism are delivered.

The strategy and action plan were launched at the Cumbria Economic Summit 2009 in February and were described as "market leaders for the UK" by Lord Mandelson, Secretary of State for business, enterprise and regulatory reform.

The Cumbria sub regional action plan identifies priority projects under the strategy's themes which will either progress or be completed over the next three years, and in the long term could create more than 11,000 new jobs.

Projects include:

  • The development of Carlisle Airport
  • Academy schools for Barrow, Carlisle and West Cumbria
  • The Windermere Necklace Programme
  • The Waterfront Barrow-in-Furness business and residential development
  • The £100m redevelopment of West Cumberland Hospital
  • Building the case for a new nuclear power station on Nuclear Decommissioning Authority-owned land adjacent to Sellafield, a key component of the Britain's Energy Coast initiative

So far, within the action plan, Cumbria has seen the completion and official opening of the Energus training facility at Lillyhall, Workington; the completion of phase one and start of phase two of the Waterfront Business Park in Barrow; and most recently the Government's funding commitment to building the Carlisle Northern Development Route, which is expected to be completed in 2012, easing congestion in Carlisle and improving transport links from the M6 corridor to West Cumbria.

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