Community

Moving the region from reliance to a resilient community that is self-supporting

iSH is a community-led initiative, focused on the economic benefits it delivers through collaboration being used to revitalise communities across West Cumbria

It believes in employment and training opportunities it creates being accessible to all – and is committed to helping develop clear pathways to employment

This includes working with schools and young adults and supporting programmes which encourage young people of all backgrounds to access training and employment. iSH appointed an Education Liasion Officer in February 2023 to support this activity.

An iSH community launch event was held in March 2022 when more than 100 schoolchildren found out about exciting opportunities coming to their doorstep (see video below).

Children from the town’s Montreal and St Patrick’s primary schools got hands-on experience at Cleator Moor Civic Hall of some of the exciting technology which will be part of iSH’s initial development at Leconfield.

Local company Forth, which has a base in Cleator Moor, set up an augmented reality car in a giant inflatable outside the hall so the children got the opportunity to try out the latest technology. They also demonstrated the firm’s remote controlled rescue robot which is used by Sellafield.

Inside the hall the children also got to fly drones on a simulator thanks to Sellafield’s UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) team, based at the Engineering Centre of Excellence at Leconfield.

Technology firm V360 gave the children a chance to try out the latest VR technology and Sarah Watt, who specialises in running science workshops for children, set up a hands-on engineering challenge for the young students.

iSH Community Group meets monthly to enable community representatives to drive activity in the area where they feel there are gaps in provision.

In 2022 this led to a community programme of events, supported by iSH, designed to raise aspirations of those living in the Cleator Moor area.

These included:

  • Street art – a series of specially commissioned murals for sites across the town
  • Street theatre – a fun weekend of summer events in the town square
  • Children’s fun science shows – held in the library in October half term
  • Comedy night – fun event for adults in held in the Civic Hall

In 2023 the ambition is to broaden the geography of events to Cleator Moor and surrounding communities.

The focus of the events will also be aligned to:

  • Enhancing skills and educational outcomes
  • Supporting a thriving community with better health and wellbeing outcomes
  • Enhancing business growth and diversification which supports jobs creation
  • Increasing focus on home-grown innovation – showcasing opportunity in advanced manufacturing, robotics, Artificial Intelligence, digital and cyber capabilities
  • Supporting the promotion of West Cumbria as a great place to live and work

iSH is supported in its activity by funding from Cleator Moor Town Deal Board which, working with Copeland Borough Council, secured a provisional offer of £22.5 million from the Government’s £3.6 billion Towns Fund initiative in 2022.

Significant match funding sums have also been pledged by the NDA, Sellafield, and the Copeland Community Fund.

Further contributions have been made by Copeland Borough Council, Cleator Moor Town Council and Regen North East Copeland.

The four projects included in the Town Deal are:

  • Enterprising Town – the redevelopment of the existing Leconfield Industrial Estate to provide employment and training opportunities for residents in Cleator Moor as well as helping to diversify the local economy. The proposal will create new buildings on site including an Enterprise Campus Hub, the refurbishment of existing units and extensive landscaping. The development of the site forms part of the wider regeneration programme being delivered across West Cumbria by iSH.
  • Revitalised Town – to increase activity and footfall around the Town Square by bringing vacant and under-utilised buildings back into active use while creating an attractive new public realm. Uses will include a new cultural community hub and enhanced business space.
  • Healthy Town – To enhance existing sports and leisure provision to create a modern multi-purpose centre including an indoor sports hall, flexible studio space, gym and café, alongside wider health and well-being provision. This will improve population health and generate more reasons for people to visit and spend time in Cleator Moor.
  • Connected Town – this scheme will deliver a high-quality integrated and sustainable transport network which improves connections between employment, education, amenities and leisure and transforms the accessibility and attractiveness of Cleator Moor.

For more information on the Cleator Moor Town Deal, visit cleatormoortowndeal.org.uk

In January 2023 £20m of investment from government was awarded to Copeland Borough Council for the iSH Enterprise Campus, phase two of the redevelopment at Leconfield through a successful bid to the Levelling Up Fund.

Part of the latest funding will create an attractive ‘Spine’ development: an active travel route providing improved connectivity between the Campus and the town centre through landscaped footpaths and cycleways.

This will ensure the development of Leconfield helps regeneration of Cleator Moor and surrounding communities.

  • Regenerating the Town Centre will drive footfall, leading to increased expenditure, increased dwell time, increased business turnover and increased employment opportunities.
  • Better active infrastructure connections have the potential to deliver a wide range of socio-economic impacts for the community, including improvements to physical and mental health.
  • Growing the business ecosystem requires access to a local talent pool who are attracted by the quality of infrastructure, services, opportunities to grow and prosper and enjoy healthy and high-quality lifestyles.