Masterplan for industrial site will be catalyst for 'transformational change'
30 September 2020
Moves to secure a vibrant future for one of the most significant industrial sites in the North West look set to take a major step forward soon.
A Task Force – a local working group aligned with the local industrial strategy to drive economic regeneration made up of representatives from GSK Ulverston, South Lakeland District Council (SLDC), Cumbria LEP, Cumbria County Council and Ulverston Town Council, under the chairmanship of Barrow and Furness MP Simon Fell – is looking to develop the vision for an area of land in Ulverston donated by GSK in 2018 to support the creation of jobs and growth in the local economy.
SLDC is looking for a consultant to develop this vision and build this into a masterplan to create the "catalyst for transformational change".
SLDC is leading on commissioning the masterplan from relevant consultants to guide future development, starting with a section of the "Donation Land" – an area, previously used as a car park, being offered by GSK to support the regeneration of the town.
Local MP for Barrow and Furness Simon Fell said: “This is a hugely important step to seizing the opportunity that this site offers. We have the chance to build a lasting legacy for Ulverston and the surrounding area with a focus on life-science and renewable energy jobs. This role is crucial to delivering on that vision.”
The Task Force's vision for the land is for it to be a nationally significant advanced manufacturing-based business location, which draws on Ulverston and Morecambe Bay’s established strengths in world-class life sciences.
Councillor Robin Ashcroft, SLDC’s Portfolio Holder for Economy, Culture and Leisure, said: "This is an important site for Ulverston, South Lakeland, Cumbria and the Morecambe Bay area as a whole, with huge potential to drive regeneration and boost the economy and local communities.
"We at South Lakeland District Council have been working closely with partners from the Task Force to secure the best possible outcome for this site and are delighted to lead on the commissioning of the masterplan.
“Key priorities in SLDC's Council Plan include working with partners to deliver regional growth, securing inward investment, unlocking development sites and enabling local businesses to grow – and getting this right will go a long way towards achieving that here."
The study is expected to take three months and the masterplan will then form the basis of a business case to feed into an offer to Government and the private sector for investment in economic development and supporting infrastructure.
The site was identified by the three Morecambe Bay local authorities – SLDC along with Barrow Borough Council and Lancaster City Council – working together to promote the Lancaster and South Cumbria Economic Region as a key opportunity area for development as part of their aims to promote and raise the profile of the area for inward investment and indigenous business growth.
The site is also part of the South Ulverston Canal Corridor Regeneration Area, which includes a number of major employment and residential areas linked by the Ulverston Canal and close to Ulverston Town Centre. South Lakeland District Council and Ulverston Town Council have a longstanding interest in regenerating both of these areas.
The Cumbria Local Industrial Strategy runs until 2030 and provides the long-term economic vision for the county in terms of prosperity and inclusive growth. Key elements are a focus on productivity and inclusive growth. The LIS identifies Lancashire/South Cumbria as an economic sub-region and identifies new housing at Marina Village in Barrow and in South Ulverston, skills, energy and world class manufacturing and tourism as key offers. It also re-iterates the need for improvements to the A590 including the Ulverston Bypass and improvements to the speed and capacity of the Furness railway, and Barrow Waterfront as priority infrastructure schemes.
South Lakeland’s Local Plan proposes major employment and housing growth in Ulverston. The plan seeks to deliver nearly 1,700 homes in Ulverston and the wider Furness area. Critical to the delivery of the local plan is a planned expansion of Ulverston to the south including more than 1,000 homes in South Ulverston and Swarthmoor including new drainage infrastructure, a new link road and a new roundabout connecting the sites to the A590 west of the town.
All expressions of interest, clarification questions and submission must be made via the chest. Submission deadline is 1pm on 2 October 2020.