Video report by Matthew Taylor.
It is hoped the long-term benefits of the £452 million Growth Deal will reach all parts of the Borderlands, driving inclusive growth and delivering significant and lasting benefits for individuals, businesses and communities.
Projects agreed for Cumbria include:
Carlisle Station Gateway - will see £20m of investment into developing Carlisle Station as the gateway to Carlisle and a key transport hub with connections across the Borderlands area including preparations for the arrival of HS2 in the future.
Carlisle Citadels - use of up to £50m of Borderlands funding to transform the Grade 1 listed Citadels buildings into a new city centre campus for the University of Cumbria, expanding opportunities for local students and drawing in new students to the area.
Digital Borderlands - digital and mobile connectivity is critical to future business performance and even more so for dispersed rural communities in Cumbria. This project will reshape our regional economy through a share of £32.2m to address the gaps in digital and mobile infrastructure across the Borderlands catching up with other areas and putting in place the foundations for next generation connectivity.
Destination Borderlands - will promote Borderlands as a key place to visit. Projects that have been identified are those which will increase the number of visitors as well as the length of stays. Cumbria will benefit from £18m to develop a series of projects along the length of Hadrian’s Wall (from Wallsend to Ravenglass) to improve the visitor experience and encourage people to explore different attractions within this unique World Heritage site.£6m has been allocated to the ‘See More Lake District Cycling’ project which will encourage visitors to use more sustainable transport and will help disperse the economic benefit from visitors to the Lake District World Heritage Site.
The Place programme - will see rural towns across the Borderlands region benefiting from a £50m investment programme to help boost economic activity. Once the towns are identified, plans will be developed in and by the communities to renew the vibrancy of these places.
Encouraging green growth - there is a commitment to invest £31m in energy projects to support ‘green’ growth through reducing carbon emissions and to contribute to the ambition of the Borderlands region being carbon neutral.This will build on energy master planning work that is underway.
The Deal is ambitious and will bring a much-needed economic boost post Covid-19 to aid our recovery in attracting tourists and businesses to come to Cumbria as well as enhancing the area for our residents and local communities.
The Deal is the first cross border Deal, covering the largest area of any of the growth deals agreed to date. It is truly distinctive and will provide even more investment to Carlisle and Cumbria.