Growth and housing investment opportunities in the Furness peninsula and the wider Westmorland and Furness area were showcased in the heart of government at the House of Lords.
The Leader of Westmorland and Furness Council, Councillor Jonathan Brook, and Cabinet Member for Housing and Homelessness, Councillor Judith Derbyshire, were joined by members of the council's leadership team, including Chief Executive, Sam Plum, at this event. Organised by the Cumbria LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) and hosted by CLEP Chairman, Lord Inglewood, the event showcased opportunities in our area to potential development partners on the back of significant investment from BAE Systems Ltd in Furness over the coming decade.
The event in London was hailed as a success, with around 60 attendees finding out more about the opportunities within the Furness peninsula, with the aim of taking forward the council's ambitions for the area and its communities.
Among those supporting the event were Barrow and Furness MP, Simon Fell, Westmorland and Lonsdale MP, Tim Farron, Lord Walney and Lord Cavendish, as well as representatives from Cumbria Tourism and the University of Cumbria.
Councillor Jonathan Brook, Leader of Westmorland and Furness Council, said: “The House of Lords event was a great success and provided us with a fabulous platform to showcase us as a new council and Westmorland and Furness as an area with so much to offer including the very exciting development and investment opportunities in the Furness peninsula. We have since been approached by a range on interested investors and we hope that these new contacts will bear fruit and deliver additional investment and economic growth into our area.”
Councillor Judith Derbyshire, Westmorland and Furness Cabinet Member for Housing and Homelessness, said: “I was delighted to be invited to the House of Lords for this event. It was a great to see local developers there and have the opportunity to network and take part in valuable conversations which will help shape the future. This is a really exciting time for the Furness peninsula – I’d go so far as to say a once-in-a-generation opportunity with millions of pounds being invested in employment, education and regeneration through the Brilliant Barrow Town Deal.
“Thousands of extra jobs are set to be created at BAE Systems Ltd, sparking a host of exciting opportunities for the area spanning decades into the future and the House of Lords event really helped us showcase our ambition and make key contacts, particularly across the housing sector, to help bring this regeneration project to fruition.”
Jo Lappin, chief executive of the Cumbria LEP, said: "Lord Inglewood was very pleased to host the Invest in Furness Barrow and Beyond event on behalf of colleagues in Westmorland and Furness. We in the LEP want to make things happen and the current planned economic investment in Barrow and the Furness peninsula provide a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create one of the best places in the North West to live and work.
"The event was an excellent showcase for the great housing investment opportunities that are currently available and will become available, in the future. The attendance and the level of interest demonstrated that there is real appetite in Barrow and Furness as developers next investment location."
It comes soon after Westmorland and Furness Council made its debut at the highly successful UK Real Estate Investment and Infrastructure Forum event, also known as UKREiif, which is the key event nationally putting investors and councils together to identify opportunities where they can work together for the benefit of residents and local communities.
Attendees found out more about the housing opportunities within the Furness peninsula, with the aim of taking forward the council's housing allocations to ensure the right number and right type of homes are being built to support the area's growing workforce.
They were told that there has never been a better time for housebuilders and developers to invest in the area, with exciting future prospects for the peninsula’s manufacturing and energy businesses.