Saturday, 29 August 2015

M6 corridor plan to boost Cumbrian economy

Councils and MPs are joining forces to promote the M6 corridor as key way to create jobs and growth in Cumbria.

The initiative is based around supporting businesses and maximising potential between junctions 36 and 44 on the motorway.

On Friday the leaders of Carlisle City Council, Eden District Council and South Lakeland District Council will gather at junction 41 near Penrith to sign the Cumbria M6 Corridor Initiative, in the presence of the area’s three MPs.

The Cumbria M6 Corridor Initiative outlines that the councils will work collaboratively to:
• Promote economic growth along the M6 corridor in East Cumbria
• Provide employment sites within easy reach of main transport routes
• Support development wherever it is most appropriate across the area
• Improve infrastructure and communication networks along the corridor
• Make it easier for businesses to relocate in the area
• Seek to attract new and growing investment
• Market the corridor as an area open for business
• Work with partners such as the County Council and Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership to facilitate growth

Eden District Council’s Leader, Councillor Gordon Nicolson, said: “The availability of good employment sites and first class communication links area real opportunity for business. Our Council is looking for higher paid jobs and progressive employment opportunities for our young people; this project has the capacity to deliver both.”

The M6 Corridor Initiative recognises that all three councils are promoting growth through their respective planning policy documents covering housing, employment and business growth. The Initiative seeks to integrate this focus and build on Cumbria’s strengths in business areas such manufacturing, which provides 23 per cent of the county’s output, in industry sector such as food and drink, and energy.

Rory Stewart MP said: "The M6 corridor project is an excellent example of what we as MPs in Cumbria should be doing more of: working together for the greater good of our county, and putting party politics aside to highlight what we can do, in cooperation, to grow our economy, support our businesses and communities, and generate prosperity for all

“We want the M6 corridor to be an example for rural Britain, showing how we can attract investment and development that will power our economy as we move out of recession. I am delighted to be a part of this exciting project.”

By working collaboratively, the three councils will develop a more detailed assessment of the economic growth potential of the M6 Corridor, where key actions to attract private sector investment and stimulate growth could include:
• Superfast broadband connections to all strategic employment sites
• Addressing barriers to development and investment
• Aligning infrastructure funding with unlocking development sites
• Developing a coherent marketing and branding strategy for the M6 Corridor in Cumbria
• Developing a targeted package of support for priority sectors
• Delivering opportunities for new housing provision
• Creating a positive planning environment
• Engaging the education, skills, research and development offer of further and higher education providers


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