Mayor throws open Copeland’s doors for business ahead of £90m investment

Planning for the future: The busy conference discussing Copeland’s future

Planning for the future: The busy conference discussing Copeland’s future

Ken Powell reports on a conference that declared Copeland was ‘open for business’

On October 29 Copeland was declared ‘open for business’ when Mayor of Copeland, Mike Starkie, hosted the Copeland Open for Business conference.

The event was attended by over 300 representatives from businesses throughout the UK. It is estimated that around £90 billion will be invested in West Cumbria of the next 20 years and delegates were keen to discover how to make the most of this opportunity for the area.

There were a number of prominent guests invited to speak including Robert Armour, Deputy CEO of NuGen, Rob Johnston, Chief Executive of Cumbria Chamber of Commerce and Jamie Reed MP.

While much was made of the the nuclear new build development taking place in the area other subjects such as road and rail links, and helping businesses invest locally were discussed.

Mayor Mike Starkie said: “We are delighted so many businesses from the widest range of businesses were able to attend the conference. There wasn’t spare chair in the room. The conference shows that there’s both opportunity and, importantly, a commitment and willingness to ensure a legacy for the investment in the nuclear industry in Copeland. Local, regional and national companies were represented, all with the same aim of being part of the success story of Copeland moving forward.”

The conference was praised as ‘an excellent event’ by attendees.

Local business owner, Vanessa Cowan said afterwards: “I was extremely impressed, not only by the turn out and organisation of the event, but also with how Mike Starkie spoke with regards to serving the people of Copeland.

Networking was a key focus of the conference and discussions begun on the day are continuing virtually via a LinkedIn group where entrepreneurs, businesses and people looking to move to the area can find out more about the opportunities Copeland offers.

Mike Starkie added: “The conference has been such a great success we are aiming to make this a bi-annual event, to keep the interest and investment growing in Copeland.”

For further information about the conference visit www.copeland.gov.uk or visit the Copeland Open for Business LinkedIn group.