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Jo explains how Cumbria can help Power the North

Photo of Jo Lappin Jo Lappin, Chief Executive of CLEP

Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (CLEP) Chief Executive Jo Lappin recently took part in a high level online seminar on regional recovery and growth that will be broadcast next week.

Mrs Lappin was one of four panellists, who shared the virtual stage in the ‘Powering The North’ seminar jointly organised by The Times and The Sunday Times, in conjunction with BAE Systems.

The seminar, chaired by Simon Duke, Technology Business Editor at The Times, focused on how the North could reach its maximum potential and the role of major businesses, including BAE, in helping to achieve this. This was against the backdrop of COVID-19 and the resulting economic uncertainty.

The discussion also touched upon the opportunities for social mobility, which are crucial to the Government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda.

The other panellists were:

    • Nigel Whitehead – Director, External Affairs, BAE Systems;
    • Sam Olsen – Chief Executive Officer, Movement To Work;
    • Professor Luke Georghiou – Deputy President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, The University of Manchester.

Mrs Lappin said: “I was delighted to be asked to participate in such a high profile event as it was a great opportunity to showcase the great opportunities here in Cumbria and the strength of our businesses and workforce, despite the difficult times that we are currently facing because of COVID-19.

“We have some really great opportunities to support our economy to recover, including clean energy generation in which we have potential across an enviable range of technologies such as offshore wind, nuclear, hydro, wave and tidal.

“Equally, the wider North has significant expertise across all technologies including hydrogen and Carbon Capture Usage and Storage (CCUS) and the potential to increase our contribution to national energy generation as net contributors to the grid. The North collectively also has a strong offer on a range of fronts, such as biosciences and pharma and it is important that we sell this.

“I stressed that the North is not homogeneous – we are different places, with different challenges and opportunities and can’t be simply lumped together. Here in Cumbria we have different economies operating in different parts of the county for example, from advanced manufacturing in Barrow to the visitor economy in South Lakeland.

“However, across the North we do all recognise the importance of the levelling up agenda and ensuring that the North, our businesses and our people have the same opportunities as other parts of the UK.

“One thing that we all agreed on was that the North has a fabulous offer and it’s important that we all promote and sell the North – we have an excellent quality of life, affordable housing, beautiful landscapes, sporting and cultural attractions and a perfect blend of rural and urban – something for everybody.”

The seminar will be broadcast between 12 noon and 1pm on Tuesday, October 20. Registration for the webinar is at:

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