Cumbria’s business leaders have reacted to the news that Liz Truss has won the Conservative leadership contest and has become the next Prime Minister.
In a statement, Jo Laplin the Chief Executive of the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership has outlined that the new leadership needs to ensure measures support Cumbria’s businesses and the region’s economic recovery and growth.
While Liz Truss has been busy appointing MPs to Cabinet posts she will face a full in-tray of critical issues to tackle, including measures to address the cost of living and energy crisis.
There are also some regarding the Cumbrian economy such as the Whitehaven coal mine, Moorside Nuclear development and Barrow Green Energy.
Jo Lappin, Chief Executive of the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “We congratulate Liz Truss on her appointment and look forward to working constructively with her, the Cabinet and civil service in Cumbria’s best interest.
“Cumbria’s economy is facing challenges on every front, from our businesses concerned about spiralling costs, energy and fuel among them, to the need to secure long-term investment in high growth industries.
“Of course the immediate priority needs to be immediate interventions for Cumbria’s businesses of all size, particular energy-intensive industries like manufacturing, facing an unprecedented hike in their bills.
“Many won’t be able to simply absorb such sustained increased running costs and, as major employers, it’s essential they remain viable for the benefit of all our communities.
“As a major tourist economy, the cost of living must be tackled too to ensure visitors can still make the trip to our stunning region and support our businesses and attractions.
“We also need to see the new Government signal an early vote of confidence in Cumbria’s major industries and recognise our unique offer.
“Never before has energy security and resilience been so high on the agenda, and our region can play a critical role in the solution and the UK’s clean growth.
“We want to see early positive results for Cumbria … including a decision to site the STEP nuclear fusion pilot plant at Moorside and support for the rollout of SMR technologies in our region.
“Our net zero ambitions must be seen as a route to cut energy costs, rather than being at odds.
“The new leadership must continue the previous support to establish a hydrogen economy in the North West – to help businesses such as Carlton Power’s subsidiary Barrow Green Hydrogen work with Kimberly Clark to help them decarbonise their business – and help facilitate further wind power investment off Cumbria’s coast.
“Securing these landmark innovative projects will create lasting benefits for the economy.
“It’ll both attract and retain a skilled workforce in the region, in turn helping future generations confidently plan their life and career in Cumbria.”