iSH focuses on three core components of growth – Collaboration, Innovation and Diversification.

iSH will work with people and organisations that already exist in the region, looking to strengthen what we already have, filling gaps, attracting inward investment and exporting our excellent capability.

iSH is progressing initiatives which are bringing opportunities to businesses and organisations in the region, increasing capability, and creating openings for people living in the area.

An iSH Enterprise Campus (iEC) at Leconfield, Cleator Moor will anchor the evolving business cluster in West Cumbria.

As it develops, it will host a range of tenants who collaborate to solve key engineering and industrial challenges, growing to extend beyond the region into the wider UK and globally.

iSH will:

  • Capitalise on existing world leading capability
  • Utilise existing expertise to develop grow and export
  • Encourage and enable diversification and innovation in new markets, sectors and industries
  • Grow capability to make the region a Centre of Excellence beyond nuclear
  • Provide breadth of opportunities in a variety of organisations doing different things in different ways
  • Hold regular engagement sessions with the region’s SMEs and business community to ensure clear paths to opportunities created
  • Provide employment and training opportunities across the wider community

Prospective tenants interested in finding out more about opportunities to be part of the iSH Enterprise Campus (iEC) are invited to contact Barbara Vernon

iSH has already been busy engaging with industry and businesses to listen to what they need, whether that’s access to facilities, equipment, skills or funding, to help them grow and create training and employment opportunities which will also regenerate communities.

To bring wider UK opportunities to the region iSH co-hosted an event with DASA (Defence and Security Accelerator) and FIS360 at Rosehill Theatre, Whitehaven, in autumn 2022 when SMEs from West Cumbria had the opportunity to discuss business opportunities in a different sector as well as find out about funding opportunities for innovation.

This event has already led to greater awareness about the ability for Cumbrian SMEs to diversify and has opened the door to collaboration and contract opportunities.

In January 2023 the iSH programme was given further momentum when Copeland Borough Council received an announcement from Government that it had been successful in securing £20m in Levelling Up funding to develop Phase Two of the iSH Enterprise Campus.

This investment will enable the council to implement phase two and complete the campus, with extension to the east and redevelopment of the rest of site.

This funding will help give small, medium, and large-sized businesses, start-ups and industry the space to grow, creating jobs and opportunities as well as attracting other organisations to the area.

Phase one of the redevelopment, which involves the creation of a hub building, refurbishment of existing units and improvements to infrastructure, received outline planning permission in January 2023.

iSH plans to engage with businesses and the community in early 2023 on what collaborative facilities and equipment in the hub at Leconfield will deliver most benefit to the region, to grow capability, enhance skills, and create employment.

Refurbishment works to some of the smaller units on the Leconfield site meanwhile have already been undertaken with more to come.

The first new tenant on Leconfield – a local West Cumbria business – looking to grow, moved onto the site in January 2023.

iSH is also developing strong international links, and hosted visitors from Japan to showcase the region’s capabilities with a view to creating opportunities for business growth.