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Minister praises vision for new economic hotspot

Jake Berry MP on his visit to the Oxley Group in Ulverston

A senior government minister has described an economic vision to attract more investment and employment into the Morecambe Bay area as “exciting and positive.”

Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth Minister Jake Berry MP says he now wants to discuss the plans for the Lancaster and South Cumbria Economic Region in greater detail.

Speaking on a visit to Ulverston, Jake Berry praised the three local authorities which are now working in partnership on the initiative, South Lakeland District Council, Lancaster City Council and Barrow Borough Council.

The minister has asked John Woodcock, the MP for Barrow and Furness, to discuss a new draft business prospectus with him at Westminster. The prospectus makes a compelling case for unlocking the economic potential of the Morecambe Bay area.

Lawrence Conway, South Lakeland District Council’s Chief Executive, said: “The minister praised us for seizing the opportunity and getting on with our shared vision for a Lancaster and South Cumbria Economic Region, describing it as exciting and positive.

“This is the north’s new economic hotspot. Employment opportunities are increasing, visitor numbers are on the rise and we offer a quality of life which is unsurpassed in the UK.”

The three local authorities agreed to collaborate to promote key economic advantages – a reputation for world class skills and innovation, advanced manufacturing, learning and development, excellent transport links and prosperity.

The combined area has a £7 billion economy and is enjoying some of the fastest growth across the country.

“This area has a huge part to play in helping to realise the government’s national and northern ambitions of joining up the north’s great towns and cities, pooling their strengths and unleashing their full potential,” added Mr Conway.

“The minister understands that the area has a lot to offer. The economy is booming, it is attractive as a place to invest, grow your business, study and it’s a great place to live.

“He is pleased with what has been achieved so far, is now encouraging us to move forward and is keen to know more about the potential for driving investment and growth in Morecambe Bay.”

Jake Berry made his comments during a visit to the Ulverston-based Oxley Group, designers and manufacturers of LED lighting systems for aerospace and the military.

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