Lord Mandelson to be presented with Cumbria action plan

Michael Hunt

Lord Peter Mandelson, Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, will be presented with a new action plan designed to boost the economy of Cumbria this Friday.

He is a keynote speaker at the Cumbria Economic Summit 2009 and will arrive with other delegates who will be presented with the plan.

The Cumbria Sub Regional Action Plan contains 20 priority regeneration projects, which will either progress or be completed over the next three years or could create more than 11,000 new jobs.

The action plan, along with the Cumbria Economic Strategy, has been produced by economic development agency Cumbria Vision and partner organisations in the public and private sector to set a clear direction for the county's economic renaissance.

The documents will be presented to Lord Mandelson and around 250 delegates from public sector organisations and local, national and international businesses who will gather at Sellafield Visitor Centre for the summit.

The Cumbria Economic Summit 2009 is being staged by Cumbria Vision and the Northwest Development Agency to showcase achievements to date and outline plans for the future.

The action plan says it aims to improve the economic performance by building on Cumbria's two unique strengths, energy and destination, but recognises the full potential will only be realised with support from other sectors. These included education, skills and research; business, enterprise, and employment; investment in infrastructure and the rural economy.

Major regeneration projects contained within the action plan include:

  • Development of Carlisle Airport
  • Penrith New Squares
  • A new hospital for West Cumbria
  • Nuclear new build at Sellafield
  • Improvements around Lake Windermere
  • The Waterfront Barrow-in-Furness residential and business development
  • The new K Village premises in Kendal

This year will see the Energus skills and training facility open to students, a key project contained in the £2bn Britain's Energy Coast Masterplan for West Cumbria; while work will be completed on the Waterfront Business Park, part of the £200m Waterfront Barrow-in-Furness development.

These regeneration projects for Cumbria will feature in a series of video showcases and presentations.

The summit will also provide an opportunity to hear about the main issues likely to be addressed by the regional strategy, the region's first single integrated strategy bringing together spatial, economic, social and environmental strategies to build a new long term vision for the prosperity of the North West region.

It is currently being developed by the NWDA and 4NW, the Regional Leaders Forum, together with assistance from the Regional Strategy Advisory Group, which comprises of members of the public and representatives from the private, voluntary and community sectors.

Cumbria Vision was established by the NWDA in 2005 to galvanise the public and private sector in Cumbria and create a single direction to the county's significant regeneration agenda, which spans both urban and rural concerns.

Speakers joining Lord Mandelson this year include:

  • Dr Ian Hudson, Sellafield programme manager, Nuclear Decommissioning Authority
  • George Beveridge, deputy managing director, Sellafield
  • Duncan Burt, customer services manager, Transmission Commercial, National Grid
  • Simon Berry, chairman and managing director of English Lakes Hotels
  • Beverley Blevans, contact centre manager in Lillyhall, Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs
  • Dr Eunice Simmons, Dean of science & natural resources, University of Cumbria
  • Cllr Tim Knowles, portfolio holder for economy, Cumbria Council
  • Andrew Tinkler, chief executive of Stobart Group
  • Alistair Wannop, dairy farmer and owner of Eden Golf Course

There will also be speeches from Roger Liddle, Richard Greenwood, chief executive of Cumbria Vision, and Professor John Fyfe, international specialist in creating partnerships.

Television broadcaster Fiona Armstrong will compère the summit.

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