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Saturday, 30 August 2014

£3.5m windfall will start up hundreds of rural firms

SOUTH Cumbrian entrepreneurs have been told they will reap the rewards of a £3.5m government windfall.

BEARING GIFTS: Farming minister, Jim Paice, completes his rural roadshow by delivering a speech at the Dairy Farming in Cumbria conference at Dolphenby Farm, Edenhall, PenrithPAULA PAISLEY REF: 50037604F013

Hundreds of new businesses are expected to be created across Cumbria after farming minister, Jim Paice, announced the big money investment in the Rural Growth Network yesterday (Tue).

A chunk of the money is expected to create 20 new work premises in Ulverston, as well as 10 in Ambleside and eight in Millom.

Harry Knowles, chief executive of Furness Enterprise, said: “We are delighted that Cumbria has been given this investment.

“In particular, that part of the funding will enable the further development of a high-tech business park in Ulverston, centred on the unique expertise of Marl. It will help us insure the continued growth of green technology in the area.”

Cumbria is one of five regions to benefit from a Rural Growth Network, set up to help rural areas overcome the barriers to economic growth such as a shortage of business premises and poor broadband access.

Eric Barker, Ways in to Successful Enterprise coach for Copeland, welcomed the news. He said: “This is a great opportunity for Millom and will help to fulfil the very real need for serviced work space for the area’s many entrepreneurs.

“I hope that DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and others will take the opportunity to consult with existing business networks and enterprise projects such as Ways Into Successful Enterprise and the Millom Network Centre to ensure that the actual provision, when it is eventually rolled out, fits the identified needs that are already part of the ongoing Millom and District Action Plan.”

Mr Paice yesterday visited Blencathra Business Centre, in Keswick, which will be transformed into eight new work premises with business services including one-to-one business advice, online training, networking opportunities and access to superfast broadband.

He said: “There are particular challenges to running a business in a remote area. Too often, business people are held back by not being able to find work premises, having no access to superfast broadband, or being unable to expand their skills without travelling into a city.

“The Rural Growth Network will take down these barriers to growth and enable local businesses to turn their ambitions into reality.”

To complete his visit, Mr Paice delivered a speech at the Dairy Farming in Cumbria conference at Edenhall in Penrith.

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