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'Backbarrow Ironworks project should be NO.1 priority for £4.4million cash boost for Cumbria' says MP

November 7, 2011 1:54 PM

TF chattingSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has today called on Cumbria LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) to use part of the £4.4million cash boost they have received on supporting the Backbarrow Ironworks project.

Cumbria LEP has today been pledged £4.4m for key infrastructure projects as part of a Government support for the economy. At the Lib Dem party conference Danny Alexander announced a £500m 'Growing Places Fund', to "getBritainbuilding again".

Tim believes that part of the funding should towards restarting the Backbarrow Ironworks development. The historic former ironworks at Backbarrow, where Isaac Wilkinson (of Wilkinson Sword fame) was the ironmaster in 1735, was supposed to be transformed into a residential and commercial development. However, building has stopped because of financial issues, and it has become a long running saga in the community.

The original redevelopment project was supposed to provide 18 new homes and up to 100 jobs.

Commenting, Tim said, "This funding is supposed to help stalled projects and make sure we can move things on. The Ironworks at Backbarrow should be number one on the list of projects for the £4.4million that the government has provided to Cumbria.

"This money follows quickly after we convinced the government to provide £2.75million for Gilkes in Kendal which will allow us to unlock £70 million of extra private investment."

"I have spoken to the government about this pot of money and I pushed them to make sure Cumbria got a fair share. Now it has, I want to see LEP bosses make sure the money is spent wisely and in areas that need it."