As Parliament resumed for 2023, Penrith MP Dr Neil Hudson, stood up in the Commons to urge Government to back an £8 million state-of-the-art enterprise centre to boost businesses in rural Cumbria.
The development in question has been bid for formally by Eden District Council, with the support of local MP Dr Neil Hudson, as part of the Government’s Levelling Up Fund.
A strong voice for Cumbria’s communities, Dr Hudson has long fought for levelling up to include rural areas.
If successful, the Inspiring Eden Enterprise Hub will be built at Stoneybeck roundabout, north of Penrith. With offices, workshops, studios, and collaborative spaces, the development is designed to attract some 80 businesses and 500 jobs which could generate an estimated £20 million of economic benefit in 10 years.
News on the bid is due later this month.
Through this passionate intervention the Penrith MP secured a meeting with Minister Dehenna Davidson MP, of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities who praised him for being “an excellent champion for Penrith and The Border”
Speaking afterwards, Dr Neil Hudson, MP for Penrith and The Border said:
“This is such an exciting opportunity to unlock the economic potential of rural Eden and strengthen Penrith on the business map. This development will be immensely important for us here in Penrith, from giving our brilliant youngsters the opportunities they deserve to providing our budding rural entrepreneurs the springboard they need to thrive.
“As I said in the Chamber, for Levelling Up to truly deliver on the British people’s priorities it must include rural communities such as ours in Cumbria. Already I’ve been proud to stand up in Parliament and usher in Government funding for Penrith and The Border - last month alone saw two Eden schools chosen to have their facilities upgraded and a £100 million broadband contract issued to connect rural Cumbrian households.
“I look forward to meeting further with Ministers and pushing forward with rural levelling up.”
The exchange at Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Questions in Parliament:
Dr Neil Hudson, MP for Penrith and The Border, asked:
“Levelling Up must cover all parts of our country - North, South, East and West. Including rural areas. With that in mind, does my Hon. Friend agree a great way of the Government showing their support for rural areas would be to back the Inspiring Eden Enterprise Hub bid? And that will really be a shot in the arm for the people of Penrith, Eden and Rural Cumbria.
Dehenna Davidson, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Levelling Up, replied:
“Well, my Hon. Friend is an excellent champion for Penrith and The Border, my constituency neighbour, and I certainly see the excellent work that he does. Certainly happy to meet with him to discuss this further.”