Planning to invest in advanced manufacturing in the North West of England or Cumbria?
Then do it here in Furness.
The Furness area has UK Assisted area status and it is set to continue to 2020. Companies will qualify for enhanced discretionary capital investment or job creating grants. Opportunities exist to attract in operations of companies currently located out with Cumbria which could be attracted into the area.
Starting early in 2015 the building of a 321,000 ft2 Strategic Bulk Store (SBS)/ Logistics facility will represent the first phase of BAE Systems' multi million pound Barrow site redevelopment programme for the Successor Programme which involves the development and build of the next generation of submarines to replace the Trident fleet. The new build will take place on Phase 1 of The Waterfront Business Park. The development will create demand for more plots to be provided on Phase 2.
The proposed Barrow Island Growth Zone seeks to build on this investment to create jobs in advanced manufacturing and to support the supply chain for Furness and national companies. A new era of site investment at The Waterfront Business Park, Barrow-in-Furness, one of NW England’s best coastal strategic sites for business growth is upon us. Alongside, and integral to, port land and operations delivered by Associated British Ports plc the Cumbria County Council owned Business Park provides space for local firms’ expansion, inward investment by companies from other parts of UK or overseas. It is also suitable for firms keen to expand their supply chain presence serving either manufacturers in Cumbria or UK and global markets.
The UK Government is offering £5m from spring 2015 to undertake ground works and allow serviced plots to be created together with rate relief incentives offered to firms to grow on The Waterfront. A new programme of site preparation will run from spring 2015, aiming to complete plots ready for use by mid-2016. It is vitally important that the Barrow travel to work area has available both quality premises and serviced land if current and future business enquiries are to be converted into investment commitments leading to creation of new job opportunities and potential to attract in new firms, facilitate growth of existing firms and the creation of new business. Furness College is planning an Advanced Manufacturing Technology Centre to support the skills growth.
Although manufacturing is important across the whole county, the sector has a significant concentration in the Furness Peninsula. Investment proposals from major international blue-chip companies are set to create 3,000 jobs in the Barrow and Ulverston area. Between 2015 and 2022, in the wider Cumbria area, huge investments collectively worth circa £45 billion, including £6.6bn of new infrastructure will commence. Over the next 7 years around £1bn of investment will be made in advanced manufacturing companies in the Furness area of Cumbria. £300m plus investment in new buildings, processes and infrastructure for delivery of the Successor programme by BAE Submarine Solutions in Barrow and £350m in a new bio pharmaceutical plant by Glaxo Smith Kline in Ulverston are the most significant investments. These are complemented by investments in Siemens, Centrica and other companies.
The Furness Economic Development Forum (FEDF)
The Furness Economic Development Forum (FEDF) has evolved from an initiative led by John Woodcock MP for Barrow and Furness which saw the launch of "A National Cradle for Advanced Manufacturing - Towards a new economic vision for Furness’’.
FEDF is a public private sector partnership. Its objective is to support the economic growth of the Furness area (defined as the area within the Barrow and Furness Parliamentary Constituency boundary) and its companies through leadership, direct provision of services by partner organisations, by influencing others and coordinating.
The Forum is working closely with the Cumbria LEP to facilitate economic growth.
The first task has been to develop a Delivery Plan (2014-2017) of prioritised actions aimed at:
- Inspiring local people to exploit career opportunities, develop skills and further entrepreneurial strengths and
- Enabling companies to exploit growth potential to service UK and global markets by improving supply chain penetration using operating bases located in the Furness Peninsula
- Facilitating infrastructure, transport and environmental improvements
The delivery plan’s key message is to promote the importance of advanced manufacturing and advanced manufacturing skills to the Cumbrian and Furness economy.
The FEDF has reached Agreement with the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership and local partners to prioritise a funding "ask" in the LEP’s Growth Deal proposals to Government which allows for a spring 2015 start on:
- An Advanced Manufacturing Technology Centre on the Furness College site in Barrow
- Introduction of a supply chain strengthening business support programme
- New infrastructure at Barrow Waterfront Business Park and a start on opening up Marina Village housing site south of Salthouse Road, Barrow
- East Ulverston infrastructure and flood prevention investment to open up sites
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