Government include Cumbria in new Investment Zones

Council Leaders welcome the news that Government is considering Cumbria as part of their new Investment Zone initiative, looking at Barrow in Furness and Workington, the Energy Coast.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities are developing plans for Investment Zones around the country in a bid to unlock economic growth and speed up development.

The Government have announced they will deliver Investment Zones in partnership with Upper Tier Local Authorities and Mayoral Combined Authorities in England.  Support for Investment Zones could include:

  1. Lower taxes – businesses in designated sites will benefit from time-limited tax benefits.
  2. Accelerated development – there will be designated planning sites to build for growth and housing.
  3. Wider support for local growth – for example, through greater control over local growth funding for areas with appropriate governance.

On 1 April 2023, Cumbria County Council and the six district councils are due to be abolished and replaced with two new unitary councils, Westmorland and Furness and Cumberland, with effect from April 2023. Should the Investment Zones progress it will be the responsibility of these two councils to further develop and implement the plans for the Investment Zones in their areas.

Councillor Stewart Young, Leader of Cumbria County Council said:

“The Government say that the new Investment Zones will boost the local economy and improve the overall wellbeing of our communities. I look forward to learning more about this initiative and showcasing to Government the many opportunities we have in Cumbria to assist them in their ambitious plans.”

Councillor Mark Fryer, Leader of Cumberland Shadow Authority added:

“This announcement allows Cumberland to further its reputation as a great place to do business and for us to support the delivery of our new Council Plan, in particular, understanding how Investment Zones can develop opportunities for local businesses and inward investors to create quality jobs for residents.”

Councillor Jonathan Brook, Leader of Westmorland and Furness Shadow Authority, said:

“This is positive news and anything that will help us to drive economic growth and increase opportunities in our area is to be welcomed.

“The new Westmorland and Furness Council is developing priorities to ensure the new authority will be a great place to work and to live, and we have already identified areas around creating a sustainable economy, growing the workforce and creating better access to jobs among our ambitions.

“Anything that helps to support that work will be very beneficial and we look forward to learning more about the Investment Zone proposals from Government.’’

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