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Awards 2022

New alliance formed to drive business and social investment in Cumbria

The newly formed Invest In Cumbria Alliance, a group of private sector organisations, local government and political leaders in the North, has come together to develop a new approach to ensure that the prosperity of Cumbria is reflected in the level of investment into the county.

The alliance wants to see the county become more competitive and areas of highest deprivation economically levelled-up. Those behind the initiative include: Trudy Harrison MP, John Stevenson MP, Simon Fell MP as well as leadership from Copeland, Allerdale and Barrow with support from Britain’s Energy Coast Business Cluster (BECBC).

Pioneering what it calls ‘Social Contracts for Investment’ following the announcement of the UK Government’s Green Growth agenda and Energy White Paper issued this week, the Invest in Cumbria Alliance builds on international examples of success, where business and community have worked together to achieve mutual benefits.

These new Social Contracts will revolutionise the way Cumbria does business; laying out in black-and-white the community and business outcomes to be achieved from any investment in the area, and clearly identifying who is doing what to create a commercially-desirable environment for investors, a supportive business environment and sustainable benefits for thriving local communities.

What’s more, this approach represents a clear way in which public, private, third sector and the local community, can collaborate in response to the Covid pandemic, building community insight, resources and capabilities to ensure a fair, inclusive and resilient local economy that helps Cumbria’s people, industry and places to flourish.

Trudy Harrison, MP for Copeland, commented: “Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic we’ve seen our businesses, local government and communities pulling together in remarkable ways. The Invest in Cumbria Alliance applies that pace and ‘can do’ attitude to the next wave of investments in the region.”

Beyond Covid, the Alliance also forms a solid foundation on which to address some of the most pressing issues facing the county, and indeed the UK today; whether that’s climate change, or socio-economic inequalities.

The Invest in Cumbria Alliance is primed to tee-up economies that generate value for the area and its community, while also offering a proactive and receptive climate for big investors, small businesses and local supply chains to operate in. This approach will be an integral part of the economic strategies currently being developed across Cumbria as part of the area’s Reboot/ Rethink plans, and will lead the way in delivering the UK government’s citizen data strategy with a unique community owned solution for citizen participation in decision-making.

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