A new £2.75million grant will create 500 South Lakes jobs and safeguard a further 250,and could potentially transform Kendal, says local MP, Tim Farron, who worked as part of a team to win the award.
The bid for a £2.75million grant from the Government's Regional Growth Fund (RGF) to Gilkes of Kendal is a huge boost for the local economy. It is estimated that it will unlock over £70 million of private investment, creating many more jobs in the South Lakes.
The RGF, which was launched by Business Secretary Vince Cable, is a £1.4bn fund operating across England from 2011 to 2014 designed to support projects and programmes that lever private sector investment creating economic growth and sustainable employment. It aims particularly to help those areas and communities currently dependent on the public sector to make the transition to sustainable private sector-led growth and prosperity.
The bid, which earned the support of the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership back in June, aims to use the money to secure the long term future of Gilkes in Kendal by supporting the onsite rebuilding and refurbishment of the existing factory and premises ensuring that engineering, design and manufacturing activities will all stay in Kendal.
Additionally, by guaranteeing the future of Gilkes on their existing site, the grant will help play an important role in unlocking the redevelopment of Canal Head and help to address the long standing barrier to Kendal's economic growth through the provision of a new bridge across the river Kent, which will alleviate recurring traffic and circulations issues experience within the town centre.
Commenting this morning Tim said: "This is fantastic news both for Gilkes and also for everyone in Kendal - it has the potential to transform our town's economy and make us the leading centre for hydro manufacturing. Charles Crewdson and his team at Gilkes have every right to be extremely proud of this deserved result.
"The backing of Brendan Jameson and South Lakeland District Council, and Cumbria's Local Enterprise Partnership was also crucial to winning this bid. I spent much of the summer lobbying government officials, and I could tell that they were impressed by the bid. All our hard work has paid off and I am utterly delighted, this is the best possible news for our area, all of our effort was worthwhile!"