§ Lord Inglewood
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they consider that the establishment of an Enterprise Zone in Copeland would be an appropriate response to the announcement that British Nuclear Fuels Limited is cutting its workforce by a total of 2,000.
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment (The Earl of Arran)
The Government's policy is that enterprise zones are designated only in the most exceptional circumstances. The possibility of a new zone for Copeland has been explored but no commitment has been made to its designation.
The Government are taking an active role in regenerating the region. English Estates (now English Partnerships) have invested heavily in new construction in West Cumbria and their interest continues. Since last August, companies in Copeland have been able to benefit from grants and initiatives available under Assisted Areas schemes and in January the area was awarded Objective 2 European Funding status. The Cumbria Action Team was established three years ago and has assisted several local projects through its Special Fund Programme and significant Derelict Land 77WA Grant expenditure has been made. In addition, the Government welcome the initiatives taken by the joint public and private organisation, the Whitehaven Development Company.