5th August 2005
£1 million boost for Egremont
Plans for a unique programme to help regenerate the market town of Egremont have been given a kick-start, thanks to funding of £1 million from the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA).
The investment, which will create 27 new jobs and safeguard a further 17, will enable the Egremont and Area Regeneration Partnership to develop and implement a wide range of projects focussed on creating a thriving economic base for the area. With additional delivery support from Copeland Borough Council and West Lakes Renaissance, the initiative will enhance business competitiveness and facilitate the exchange of good business practice through the creation of a local Business Network.
With a strong focus on improving and enhancing Egremont’s skills base, the scheme will help to implement basic skills training, stimulate entrepreneurship, and support youth engagement activities. In total, the programme will help to provide almost 300 locally based learning opportunities for both businesses and the community, to help increase economic activity and improve employment prospects.
The initiative will also help to support the area’s tourism offer through public realm improvements to the town centre, and improvements to local heritage buildings, including the town’s medieval castle.
To carry this work forward the NWDA is also pleased to announce the appointment of Simon Walker as Project Manager for the Egremont Market Town Partnership. Locally-born, Simon began his career at Barnet Borough Council where he worked in a variety of roles, including project managing the construction of a £15 million arts facility for the area, which formed part of a wider council initiative to regenerate the town centre.
Steve Heaton, NWDA Head of Rural Affairs, said:
“Market towns are playing an increasingly essential part in the rural economy, and investment of this kind is vital to their ongoing regeneration. This programme will provide Egremont with the tools to make a strong and lasting impact on their local area, not only in implementing business and training support, but also providing a catalyst for additional investment.”
Simon Walker, Project Manager of the Egremont and Area Partnership, said:
“I am very excited to be back in West Cumbria and working with the Egremont Regeneration Partnership to deliver this programme and to develop projects to revitalise Egremont. This funding is a real vote of confidence in Egremont and the area and I hope that people will be inspired to get involved with the partnership or projects to play their part too.”
Cllr Elaine Woodburn, Chair of the Egremont and Area Regeneration Partnership and Leader of Copeland Borough Council, said:
“Securing this funding is excellent news for Egremont. The Egremont and Area Partnership has worked extremely hard to gain this funding, and a lot of credit must go to Brian Kirkbride, Copeland Borough Council’s Regeneration Officer. In the absence of an Egremont officer, he has worked tirelessly, and gathering information filling in very detailed applications. I must also thank all of the voluntary committee members past and present for all of their efforts. We all recognise that this has been a long time in coming, but with Simon’s appointment and the commitment of both Copeland Borough Council and the committee themselves, I am confident that Egremont can succeed as what we want it to be, a place we are proud to live in and visitors and businesses want to come to.”
The programme follows Egremont’s completion of its ‘Healthcheck’ process, which highlighted the importance of improving the management of the town centre, creating services for young people, and attracting investment opportunities.
To get involved with the partnership or their projects, please contact Simon Walker on 01946 828101 or Simon.Walker@visitegremont.co.uk. News of all projects will be updated regularly on the www.visitegremont.co.uk website.
The Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) is responsible for the sustainable economic development and regeneration of England's Northwest and has 5 key priorities: Business Development, Regeneration, Skills & Employment, Infrastructure and Image