Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, Lord Mandelson, is to be the keynote speaker at the Cumbria Economic Summit 2009.
Mandelson will address around 250 invited delegates from the public and private sectors at Sellafield Visitors Centre on Friday 20 February. The event is being staged by economic development agency Cumbria Vision and the North West Development Agency to showcase progress over the past 12 months and highlight future plans to transform Cumbria into one of the fastest growing economies in the UK.
Mandelson will be joined by a roster of local, regional and national speakers who will talk around six industry priorities identified by the economic agencies as important to Cumbria's future economic prosperity;
- New opportunities of energy and low carbon economy
- Raising the attractiveness of destination Cumbria to live, invest, work and visit
- Transforming Cumbria's education, skills and research and achieve a step change in aspirations
- Better focused support for business, enterprise and employment
- Development of key infrastructure as a platform for business growth
- Innovative stewardship of Cumbria's land and landscape to build a thriving rural economy and improve access to services
Roger Liddle, chairman of Cumbria Vision, will address delegates on the opportunities and challenges that face the Cumbrian economy in the current economic climate. He said: "We are delighted to be welcoming Lord Mandelson at this very difficult time for the economy nationally and locally. We want him to hear the views of Cumbria's businesses and understand how the County's regeneration effort can not only benefit our businesses and communities, but also the wider UK economy.
"Much has happened since our hugely successful 2008 summit. We have seen good progress made on a host of important regeneration projects such as the Britain's Energy CoastTM Masterplan in West Cumbria; The Waterfront Barrow-in-Furness housing and business development; Stobart Air's plan to revamp Carlisle Airport; and the new K Village premises in Kendal.
"We have reached an exciting and important point in Cumbria's economic renaissance and this summit is a superb way to reflect on achievements to date and turn our focus firmly on the future. The current economic climate poses many challenges and opportunities, but our message remains the same – Cumbria is open for business."