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Farron calls on Cumbrian businesses to bid for Regional Growth Funds

January 17, 2013 1:34 PM

Tim at GilkesThe Coalition Government scheme that has already created or safeguarded 1144 jobs in South Lakeland opens a new round of bids today, Thursday 17th January. South Lakes MP Tim Farron has called on local businesses to put their ideas forward.

Round four of the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) will be bring £350m of investment to create jobs and growth across England. South Lakeland has been a big winner from RGF funding with three winning bids in the previous three rounds. James Cropper plc, Lakeland Arts Trust and Gilkes in Kendal have been recipients of government funding.

James Cropper plc is the largest private sector employer in South Lakeland and a world leader in the manufacture of bespoke high quality coloured paper & board. The successful £3.15 million grant from the RGF will enable them to develop technology to install a biomass steam generating plant. This plan will help safeguard 300 jobs.

The grant is part of a £7m project, which includes research & development, to establish the process technology to install a Waste Incineration Directive (WID) compliant biomass incinerator and steam boiler to generate steam required by the papermaking process. The fuel mix for this process will be a unique mix of solid recovered fuel (made from segregated Cumbrian household waste) and papermaking primary effluent "cake".

Lakeland Arts Trust also won a Regional Growth Fund grant, which will help them bring in an additional £8.75 million of private investment into Windermere and the Lake District. The scheme will also help safeguard 94 local jobs. The £10 million redeveloped WindermereSteamboatMuseum will be a world class visitor attraction, benefiting the local economy as part of the Windermere Waterfront Programme, creating employment, extending visitor stays and bringing £7.5 million of Heritage Lottery Funding and £1 million of private investment to the area.

The Windermere Steam boat Museum is expected to attract over 100,000 visitors each year and help to further enhance the profile of the Lake District as one of the UK's leading visitor destinations.

These successful bids follow on from when Tim helped secure a £2.75million grant for Gilkes in Kendal to assist with the redevelopment of their Canal Head site.

Commenting, Tim said: "The Regional Growth Fund is an important part of our campaign to bring well paid jobs and investment to South Lakeland. Over 1000 jobs have been created or safeguarded thanks to the funding we have received. I hope that lots of businesses will look at bidding in round four so we can build on our successes."