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Bid for support for Renewable Energy Centre for South Lakes gets warm response from Minister

May 7, 2009 9:09 AM
Originally published by Tim Farron

Local MP led a delegation of local business people and representatives from the District Council and the university community to meet with Climate Change Minister Mike O'Brien. The meeting was about plans to build a renewable energy centre in South Lakeland which would be a huge boost for the local economy that will create hundreds of 'green' jobs for the community.

The proposal has been put forward by local businessman John Ashford, who is hoping to convince the Minister to invest in his plan to build a renewable industries business park in South Lakeland to be the home for the design and development of green energy technologies as well as potentially supporting other rural businesses.

Mr Farron has advocated South Lakeland as an ideal site for the centre given its history of harnessing renewable energy, particularly in hydro technology. The new centre would be used to promote low carbon communities, renewable energy and sustainable tourism which Mr Farron believes will help create hundreds of jobs in South Lakeland. The current aim is to create 900 jobs through the scheme which would be a huge boost to the local economy.

Commenting Mr Farron said:

"There is a growing consensus that the only way we are going to get out of this recession is by being positive and being ambitious in our support of businesses. To do this the Government must have the courage to invest in long term projects such as a new Renewable Energy Centre in South Lakeland, which will leave a real legacy for future generations.

"Investing in activities such as 'green' technology with the potential to help diversify the local economy towards higher waged, knowledge intensive employment will help pull South Lakeland out of the recession.

"South Lakeland has an opportunity to become a world class centre in renewable energy with the potential to create hundreds of green jobs and a thriving economy in environmental technology. The minister's response to our presentation was very positive and we are now aiming to bring in support from the North West Development Agency. This afternoon I have briefed the Chief Executive of the NWDA who was very interested to hear of the meeting's success. There is a long way to go before we can start celebrating but I am very hopeful that we will be able to bring hundreds of new jobs to our area with the support of the local community in a way that enhances our environment."