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MP: 'Rural economic bid success shows that Cumbria is beating the downturn'

March 23, 2012 9:47 AM

 (Tim broadad photo1)South Lakes MP Tim Farron has said today said that 'another key piece of Cumbria's economic recovery has fallen into place as news was announced that Cumbria has been named as one of five pilot Rural Growth Networks to receive a share of millions of pounds worth of funding from DEFRA aimed at boosting rural businesses.

Tim wrote to the County Council in January asking them to make sure that Cumbria bided for the scheme and that the South Lakes was prominent within it.Cumbria's bid to become a pilot Rural Growth Network was submitted by the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).Cumbria's bid was named alongside Devon andSomerset, Swindon and Wiltshire, Northumberland andDurham, and Warwickshire as winning through to become pilot schemes.

The precise level of funding for Cumbria is still to be confirmed by DEFRA, and will also attract match funding, but it is anticipated that the pilot will secure millions of pounds worth of investment in the county's rural businesses, creating hundreds of new jobs and businesses.

Within the bid are successful schemes for Clawthorpe Hall inBurton-in-Kendal, Sedbergh Community Centre and the Marl in Ulverston.

Tim said: "Being able to attract investment and jobs is a priority of mine and I am doing all I can to support the economy and provide well paid jobs for our community. Recently we helped to secure investments for GlaxoSmithKline in Ulverston and Gilkes in Kendal which will create 800 jobs and safeguard hundreds of others but we can and must do even more and that is why I want to make the South Lakes Cumbria's economic hub. This bid will also help us unlock extra funding from the private sector."

Local resident and campaigner Vic Brown added: "This bid is fantastic news for Clawthorpe and for Burton. It will offer a much welcomed boost for rural employment, and ensure that high speed internet comes to South Westmorland as a priority, not as an after thought. This is good news indeed, creating opportunities for new rural jobs in the area south of Kendal, and opportunities for kick-start the rural economy, in partnership with enterprising local businesses"