Copeland MP Jamie Reed has responded to reports that the Cumbria LEP is set to receive less than 10% of its requested funding from government.
This news follows the insistence of government ministers that cash would only be released where areas agree to have an elected mayor.
Copeland MP, Jamie Reed said:
“Cumbria’s devolution deal collapsed because government refused to invest in the local NHS. Time and again, local partners sought assurances over funding for local hospital services from the government. Time and again, these were rejected.
“Now the county looks set to receive less than 10% of its requested growth funding – despite being home to some of the most exciting and strategically important projects in the country – and this is essentially a punishment beating for our county from this government.
“Cumbria was already in the process of becoming the Northern Powerhouse before the phrase was invented. Our area can and should become one of the fastest growing parts of the UK economy in the coming years because of what we have done locally – Moorside, West Cumbria Mining, the Workington Tidal Lagoon, the continued growth of Westlakes Science Park, the Vanguard submarine programme in Barrow and the new GSK pharmaceutical facility in Ulverston are just some of the internationally significant projects. But the childish, spiteful response of government demonstrated through this funding snub risks our ability to maximise upon all these projects.
“I’m asking all Cumbrian MPs to join me in writing to the government, urging it to think again on funding for Cumbria.
“Yesterday’s Autumn Statement revealed the worst set of accounts our country has seen for decades. Without exaggeration, the country is in real trouble and we should prioritise economic growth. The potential in Cumbria is enormous. Government should invest in the county for the sake of the country.”