FOUR ambitious projects that will bring about transformational change in Cleator Moor have
reached a crucial milestone.
Working with Copeland Borough Council, the Cleator Moor Town Deal Board secured an offer of £22.5 million from the Government’s £3.6 billion Towns Fund initiative last summer for the schemes, which are set to ensure the town and its communities benefit now and thrive into the future.
Four projects have now reached the business case assurance stage, meaning detailed plans have been submitted for internal assessment ahead of final submission to the government later this year.
Bob Metcalfe, chair of the Cleator Moor Town Deal Board, said: “This is a very exciting and significant moment in the Town Deal process for Cleator Moor. A great deal of work has gone into the development of the business cases to get them to this stage.
“Now every element of the proposed projects will be carefully assessed to ensure they are robust and will bring about meaningful and tangible change that is sustainable in the long term.
“The planned investment in Cleator Moor represents a once in a generation opportunity and I’m delighted with the progress made to date.”
The business cases for the four projects moving forward to the next stage will now undergo a rigorous process of stress testing before any final refinements are made and they are signed off by the Town Deal Board and Copeland Borough Council to be submitted to the Government for final approval this summer.
The Town Deal projects aim to help maximise inclusive economic growth and facilitate better connectivity for the area while developing a modern town with world-class companies in a range of sectors complemented with an expanded cultural and leisure offering
The projects moving to the business case assurance stage are:
Enterprising Town – the redevelopment of the existing Leconfield Industrial Estate to provide employment and training opportunities for residents in Cleator Moor as well as helping to diversify the local economy. The proposal will create new buildings on site including an Enterprise Campus Hub, the refurbishment of existing units and extensive landscaping.
Revitalised Town – to increase activity and footfall around the Town Square by bringing vacant and under-utilised buildings back into active use while creating an attractive new public realm. Uses will include a new cultural community hub and enhanced business space.
Healthy Town – To enhance existing sports and leisure provision to create a modern multi-purpose centre including an indoor sports hall, flexible studio space, gym and café, alongside wider health and well-being provision. This will improve population health and generate more reasons for people to visit and spend time in Cleator Moor.
Connected Town – this scheme will deliver a high-quality integrated and sustainable transport network which improves connections between employment, education, amenities and leisure and transforms the accessibility and attractiveness of Cleator Moor.
A fifth project that had been part of the initial Town Deal proposal will not be moving forward. Campus Town, a scheme to provide student accommodation in the town to facilitate planned growth at the University of Central Lancashire’s Westlakes Campus, has been discontinued.
A spokesperson for the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) said: “We are disappointed the scheme is not going ahead but having undertaken comprehensive planning and due diligence with architects, cost consultants and property advisors, even with grant funding, the business case was not viable from a long-term investment perspective. We would like to thank Copeland Borough Council and the Town Deal Board for the opportunity to work on this scheme.
“UCLan remains committed to the region with our ambition to develop our Westlakes Campus facilities to provide training and skills that will benefit the local economy, to raise aspirations to study in higher education and to contribute to the communities of West Cumbria.”
Bob Metcalfe added: “Of course it is disappointing that we have not been able to move forwards with our Campus Town plan, but it is important we are realistic about each of the individual projects and both their deliverability and sustainability in the longer term.
“The huge positive at the moment is that we have successfully moved four projects to the next crucial stage.”
Further details of each project will be made available after the assurance stage is complete when people will be able to comment on the proposals before submission to Government later this year.
For more information on the Cleator Moor Town Deal, visit cleatormoortowndeal.org.uk