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Executive agrees investment in business accommodation

Andrew Gilbert

Andrew Gilbert

Posted on 24 January 2018

Allerdale Borough Council's Executive has agreed today [24 January 2018] to the move ahead with the development of a key commercial site in Workington, bringing jobs and investment to the area.

The £2.5m initiative will see ten modern starter workshop units being built at Reedlands Road in the town. These will be aimed at new or existing businesses looking for a new base, or those that are keen to expand their current operations.

Much of the funding for the project has come from the EU's European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The Council answered a call for funding under the scheme which had been announced through the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and the Department for Communities and Local Government. In December 2017, the Council received confirmation that their bid had been successful and that the ERDF would provide some £1.5m for the development. At 60% of the total cost, this is the maximum that the ERDF would fund for any such scheme.

The Executive has now given the green light to accept the ERDF money and to agree to £1m in further match funding which has already been earmarked in the budget for 2018/19.

Mark Fryer, Executive member with responsibility for economic growth, said: "This is an absolutely brilliant scheme which shows the Council taking the initiative and bringing jobs and investment into our area. The fact that the ERDF provided the maximum allowed shows the confidence they have in the scheme. I hope that this can be repeated in our other towns on suitable sites where the market demands. "

The initiative comes after the Council commissioned a supply and demand market analysis, which identified the need for modern units such as these. The units will provide some 23,500 sq ft of space with units ranging from 600 sq ft to 5,000 sq ft.

Work on the site is planned to start in the summer with the first businesses moving in late in 2019.

The Council would remain the owners of the units, renting them to businesses. The development is all part of the Council's priority to boost the area's economy, provide jobs and investment, as well as make the Council's finances more sustainable and self-sufficient.

Anyone interested in initial discussions on letting one of the units, should contact the Council's economic growth team on 0303 123 1702.