Plans have been revealed to create 30,000 jobs in Cumbria as part of a blueprint which would see greater devolved powers for the county.
The "Cumbria Deal" document (download a .pdf here), has been submitted to Government and presses the case for the county to share in the Government's Northern Powerhouse plans.
Fourteen public sector leaders in the county have submitted proposals which cover areas such as health, transport and education as well as ideas to kick-start the economy.
The signatories of the Cumbria Deal proposals are: Allerdale Council leader Alan Smith; Carlisle City Council leader Colin Glover; Copeland’s elected mayor Mike Starkie; Cumbria Association of Local Councils chairman Ronald Auld; NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group chairman Dr Geoff Jolliffe; Chief Constable Jerry Graham; Cumbria County Council leader Stewart Young; Cumbria police and crime commissioner Richard Rhodes; Cumbria Third Sector Network chairman Dr Will Williams; Cumbria LEP chairman George Beveridge; Eden District Council leader Kevin Beaty; Lake District National Park Authority chairman Michael McKinley; South Lakeland Council leader Peter Thornton; Barrow Council leader Dave Pidduck.
It would make the most of the huge investments being made in Cumbria by companies such as BAE, GSK and Pirelli and creat over 30,000 new jobs by 2024 and boost the economy by £1.3bn.
A statement from the 14 organisations, which includes all seven local authorities, said: "Today the leaders of the Cumbrian public sector, supported by the private sector led Local Enterprise Partnership and colleagues from partner organisations, have submitted an expression of interest to Government.
"It outlines those areas where it may be possible to negotiate a deal with Government to increase economic growth and improve the way public services are delivered in Cumbria."
The deal will now be discussed in the coming weeks and months, to see if those behind the deal can reach an agreement with Government.
Its plans for the Cumbrian economy include:
- Increase the percentage of supply chain activity from Cumbrian businesses, particularly SME’s, to the major local investment projects.
- Work with the private sector investors to provide 10% of the UK electricity generation capacity by 2025.
- Establish a Low Carbon energy economy that will contribute significantly to the UK Low Carbon targets.
- Creating a Single Cumbria Investment Fund.
- Working with UKTI and other Northern Powerhouse LEPs to add extra activity and measurable outcomes.
- Maximising the opportunities for the nuclear sector including the transfer of assets, reserving and licensing NDA land for use in delivering future opportunities and the use of the capital receipt from Moorside.
- Greater R&D and innovation activity in Cumbria.
- Working with Defra to grow Cumbria’s innovative food farming and forestry sector and exports to new markets including through participation in the Food Innovation Network and further development of the food enterprise zone approach and a woodland enterprise zone.
- Working with Defra in developing and implementing the government’s 10 point plan for rural productivity and working to produce an agreed Cumbria Rural Productivity Plan.
- Growing Cumbria’s visitor economy in new markets by working with DCMS, Visit Britain and Visit England to deliver the Prime Minister 5 point plan on backing the tourism sector, enabling new local funding mechanisms to support destination management and marketing; and to support growth in visitors from emerging markets to our low carbon destination.
- Continuing support to the Lake District as the UK’s nomination for World Heritage Site Status.
- Providing relevant policy and funding support in order to promote incentivised opportunities for investment (in particular maximising the supply chain opportunities) thus generating significant private sector interest and subsequent investment in facilities and infrastructure.
- Opportunities to look at how all new business rate income can be invested locally to support growth.
- Devolved responsibility for business support budgets to make it easier to join up services and provide the right support at the right time.
- Greater local management involvement in allocating EU funds, in particular EAFRD.