A BUSINESS campus development in Cleator Moor that will include a central hub building which houses research, education and community facilities, aims to attract new companies to relocate to the town.
The views of residents, local businesses and stakeholders are being sought on the Cleator Moor Innovation Quarter (CMIQ) on land which includes the Leconfield Industrial Estate and land to the north and east of it.
The proposals follow the Council’s purchase of the industrial estate in January.
The development proposals include up to 44,350sqm of new floorspace to accommodate light industrial, research and development and storage and distribution uses alongside new education provision and accommodation.
The new buildings will be accompanied by extensive landscape planting and improved public areas, plus new cycle and foot paths connecting the site with wider areas of Cleator Moor.
Mike Starkie, Mayor of Copeland, said: “This is a significant development for Cleator Moor, and signifies our ambition for the town, residents and business community.
“Leconfield Industrial Estate has been under used for many years, but now, under public ownership, the much-needed redevelopment can take place.”
The initial funding for part of the ambitious project will come from the government’s Towns Fund.
Working with the Council, the Cleator Moor Town Deal Board secured an offer of £22.5 million from the Government’s £3.6 billion Towns Fund. The schemes are set to ensure the town and its communities thrive now and into the future.
One of the projects for is Enterprising Town which includes the Cleator Moor Innovation Quarter.
Bob Metcalfe, chair of the Cleator Moor Town Deal Board, said: "The submission of this outline planning proposal marks a very exciting step forward for the Cleator Moor Town Deal process.
"One of the five projects to have already secured an offer of funding from Government is Enterprising Town which will form the first tranche of development on this site to help strengthen and diversify the West Cumbria economy for many years to come.
"The project will also act as a catalyst for growth, unlocking further investment from strategic partners in the region as well as job opportunities for Cleator Moor residents."
The Cleator Moor Innovation Quarter is part of a vision for Copeland and the wider region known as the Industrial Solutions Hub (ISH).
ISH is a new economic initiative which is led by Copeland Borough Council with the support of key stakeholders including the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Sellafield Ltd, Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership and private sector supply chain partners. The key objective is to create a diverse and sustainable economy for West Cumbria, one which is less dependent on Sellafield Ltd.
The Cleator Moor Innovation Quarter is the ISH flagship initiative and will lay the foundations for change, through improvements to connectivity and, community facilities. It will also support businesses to diversify beyond the nuclear sector and grow exports to support the Cumbrian economy. CMIQ will provide the physical opportunity for companies seeking to relocate or expand into the area.
The Council is preparing to submit an outline planning application for the CMIQ proposals and is inviting the public to view the plans for the scheme. A public exhibition is being held at the former Cleator Moor Council Offices on Wednesday, November 24 (11am to 5pm) and on Thursday, November 25 (2pm to 6.30pm).
The exhibition material is also available to view at www.copeland.gov.uk/cmiq
The consultation will close on December 3. The project team will then review the comments received.
It is anticipated the planning application will be submitted to Copeland Borough Council in December, following feedback from the public exhibition.
Copeland Council has engaged Avison Young to provide commercial, town planning and project management advice on the scheme with architectural design by Norr Architecture.