What obstacles to growth continue to challenge the area and what changes could help Cumbria reach its potential?
Brock Carmichael has been a contributor to North West Business Insider’s ‘Talking Property’ section for over 18 months now. We are asked for our opinions every month on a range of topics. This was July’s.
Michael Cosser, Partner
“Cumbria is thinking big with Carlisle City Council’s plans for 10,000 new homes at St Cuthbert’s Garden Village, the most northerly of 14 Government-backed schemes, with access from a proposed link road connecting junction 42 of the M6.
But infrastructure remains an issue. Following consultation and survey responses from local businesses Transport for the North’s latest Strategic Transport Plan now recognises the importance of tourism to the regional economy and identifies more benefits of using better transport links to expand travel-to-work areas.
As well as investing to relieve congestion it recognises economic growth can be unlocked by improving links between adjoining economic areas. E.g. Carlisle and Sellafield, a tidal gateway across Morecambe Bay and the Duddon Estuary, and at least one HS2 stop north of Preston, probably at Carlisle.
Progress on digital connectivity remains a challenge as does designing in resilience to Cumbria’s infrastructure and economy. But the future is bright and energised for Cumbria.”
John Cassell, Partner
“Cumbria has been the fourth fastest growth area in the UK over the last decade, with £25 billion of new investment planned over the next 15 years. It is making an increasingly important contribution to the prosperity, security and wellbeing of the UK and has nationally significant assets in new nuclear and renewable energy projects as well as tourism.
Cumbria aims to increase the proportion of staying UK and international visitors to ‘the adventure capital of the UK’, benefitting from the designation of the Lake District as a World Heritage Site in 2017.
Its Local Industrial Strategy will guide Cumbria’s economic priorities through until 2030, meeting the government’s challenges: growing the AI and data driven economy; shifting towards green growth; shaping the future of mobility and meeting the needs of an aging society.
Five of the eight largest investment projects in the North West are located in the county, involving energy, biopharmaceuticals, defence and minerals.”