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Multi-million pound M-Sport plans given go-ahead

M-Sport World Rally Team Credit: ITV News

Two hundred jobs have been safeguarded and a further one hundred could be created at M-Sport in Cumbria after a multi-million pound development was given the go-ahead.

The £19million plans, including a new technical evaluation centre and testing facility, were approved after a judicial review in the High Court.

The development at Dovenby Hall Estate received a unanimous majority at planning, after Allerdale Borough Council voted 10-1 to approve the application, and attracted support from the Regional Growth Fund and backing from local business leaders.

The development at Dovenby Hall Estate received a unanimous majority at planning, after Allerdale Borough Council voted 10-1 to approve the application, and attracted support from the Regional Growth Fund and backing from local business leaders.

Peter Nicholson of Dovenby had applied to the Court for a judicial review into the Council’s handling of the application, a Judge granted that application warning that it had narrowly passed the lowest test.

Mr Nicholson now has 21 days to commence appeal proceedings if he chooses.

M-Sport say work will begin immediately:

“After a delay of more than eight months, it’s heartening that we can now move ahead with the development. The decision marks a new chapter in the history of M-Sport and I’m excited that we can continue to invest in the local workforce and boost local economy and employment prospects.”

– Malcolm Wilson, Managing Director, M-Sport

However, protesters today said they were pleased with the outcome of the judicial review.

They said the judge's decision vindicated their campaign to include the monitoring of maximum noise levels that would be caused by car testing at M Sport. Mike Fossey, who lives in Dovenby near to the development, has been one of those protesting against the plans.

The principle has now been established that M-Sport will monitor maximum noise levels at the new development, which is something we have fought for. The next step is that they will have to specify a number for the maximum which will have to go before local planning. They still have some way to go. If the values they put in are too high then we, the people that are affected, will contest them. It's been a long process so far and the villagers have had a big impact on the reduction of noise levels.

– Mike Fossey, protester

He added that costs of around £26,000 will now have to be paid by Allerdale Borough Council to Peter Nicholson, the member of the campaign group who brought the judicial review.

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Day 3 Rally Finalnd

Rally Finland 2015 Credit: ITV Border

In yesterday's report we followed M-Sport away from its base in Cockermouth, as they prepared for the excitement of Rally Finland.

In the third of our special reports, we look into what life is like working for one of the world's top rally teams.

Tune into Lookaround at 6pm to see the latest instalment from Rally Finland.

Cockermouth expansion into centre of motor excellence

A West Cumbrian firm has announced plans to expand - and is set to create a hundred jobs.

M-Sport at Dovenby near Cockermouth manufactures rally cars for the global market. It's set to build a centre of excellence for vehicle testing and evaluation.

It won't just be for motor sport, however, as the company is also targeting the general automotive industry.

Kim Inglis reports.

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Full report: Malcolm Wilson receives Fellowship

Former British Rally Champion Malcolm Wilson has picked up another major title in Carlisle.

The managing director of M-Sport, who run Ford's World Rally activities, has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the University of Cumbria.

It recognises his outstanding contribution to motorsport and Cumbrian business.

Kim Inglis reports:

M-Sport boss to receive Honorary Fellowship

M-Sport Managing Director Malcolm Wilson Credit: PA

The managing director of Cumbrian based motorsport firm M-Sport is to receive an Honorary Fellowship from the University of Cumbria.

Former British Rally Champion Malcolm Wilson is to receive his fellowship for his "outstanding contribution" to the industry.

M-Sport run their rally company from their Dovenby Hall complex in Cockermouth, and are one of west Cumbria's largest employers.

Schoolchildren given taster into motorsport career

One of the M-Sport cars at the Dovenby Hall complex Credit: ITV News Border

Pupils at a Cumbrian school are being encouraged to consider one of the many roles on offer in the motorsport industry.

Employees from M-Sport, which runs Ford's World Rally programme at Dovenby near Cockermouth, will be showing pupils at Nelson Thomlinson in Wigton one of their rally cars.

It is part of national Motorsport Week and Careers Day for the sixth formers at the school.

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