Cumbria and Dumfries and Galloway leaders react to Levelling Up funds awarded to region

Industrial Solutions Hub (iSH) Enterprise Campus in Copeland will receive £20 million in funding to help drive industrial development and stimulate growth in emerging industries. Credit: Copeland Borough Council

A number of projects in the ITV Border region have been awarded a share of Levelling Up funding, it's been announced.

Four schemes - three in Cumbria and one in Dumfries and Galloway - have been awarded a share of £2.1 billion from the second round of the UK government’s Levelling Up Fund.

They are:

  • Reactivating Galloway - almost £18 million to help Dumfries and Galloway Council turn redundant spaces and buildings into exciting new cultural and leisure opportunities

  • Industrial Solutions Hub (iSH) Enterprise Campus - in Copeland £20 million in funding will drive industrial development, helping to stimulate growth in emerging industries in the area.

  • Energy Coast Resilient Routes - close to £18 million in Cumbria will upgrade 30km of the highway network and repair 21 bridges which serve communities along the Irish Sea coast, bringing local communities closer together.

  • Workington Gateway - almost £10 million will drive improvements along Workington’s highways and cycle routes to better connect the town to the Port, improving access for local workers.  

The government says that Secretaries of State will be visiting projects across the UK to see how local leaders will deliver for local people.

The government has also confirmed there will be a further round of the Levelling Up Fund, providing more opportunities to award funding to places across the UK.  

Welcoming the awarding of funding towards upgrading strategic highways infrastructure, Cllr Keith Little, Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport said: "The Government’s Levelling Up Fund is designed to invest in infrastructure that improves everyday life, and these schemes will do just that.

"This work will provide a more resilient highway network, improving access to employment opportunities and services which are essential to help connect people with the places they need to get to."

Mike Starkie, Copeland Mayor, said: "Fantastic news that's come through this morning in the government's second round of levelling up.

"Not just in Cleator Moor, but for Copeland and the whole West Cumbrian economy at large.

"It's going to bring diversity to the local economy, it's going to give opportunities to local people and young people."

Responding to the news of the funding awarded to Dumfries and Galloway Council, co-leader of the council, Stephen Thompson said: "This is great news for our region, particularly the West where this investment, in addition to our Council’s existing projects at the Marina, Stranraer Waterfront and the George Hotel in the town centre, will provide a real boost to regeneration and improving the local economy.

"The announcement earlier this week of Scottish Government funding for the regeneration of Lockerbie Old School and our ongoing delivery of projects through the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal is evidence of the strides our Council is taking to bring in additional funding to deliver investments for the benefit of the region.”

Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove said:  “We are firing the starting gun on more than a hundred transformational projects in every corner of the UK that will revitalise communities that have historically been overlooked but are bursting with potential.  

“This new funding will create jobs, drive economic growth, and help to restore local pride. We are delivering on the people’s priorities, levelling up across the UK to ensure that no matter where you are from, you can go as far as your talents will take you.”

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