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Major conference hears Cumbria's the place to live, work and invest

Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (CLEP) helped promote the county’s appeal as a location in which to live, work and invest to an influential gathering of political and business leaders.

CLEP Chief Executive Jo Lappin was one of the guest speakers at a panel discussion as part of the Invest North online conference and exhibition, which attracted almost 300 delegates from throughout the country.

Grant Schapps MP, Secretary of State for Transport, was one of the keynote speakers at the event, which also included contributions from Northern Metro-Mayors Andy Burnham (Greater Manchester) and Jamie Driscoll (North of Tyne).

Invest North brought together a wide range of delegates who considered how the North can move forward and accelerate its post-COVID recovery.

Mrs Lappin took part in a panel debate entitled Northern Place Makers, which examined how the way we live and work has been changed by the pandemic and what opportunities those changes provide for local communities.

Mrs Lappin said: “We were delighted that Cumbria LEP had the opportunity to contribute to this discussion.

“The past 12 months have proved extremely challenging. However, significant challenges can act as a catalyst for change and create new opportunities, one being the change in working arrangements that can benefit both businesses and employees.

“For some people, although clearly not all, flexible hours and remote working using digital technology, such as video conferencing, has allowed them to continue working and contributing to their business and the economy.

“People want greater access to green spaces and the natural environment. More people are now thinking they can continue to progress their professional career but have a different lifestyle at the same time.

“Locations that may have once seemed distant are now proving increasingly attractive to a growing number of people. Where better to discover that work-life balance than in Cumbria? It really does have it all – beautiful locations, affordable homes and a quality lifestyle. We are at the Heart of the UK with good connectivity to many different locations.

“We have so much to offer and explore, including two World Heritage Sites, three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, more Michelin star restaurants than anywhere north of London, and fantastic arts, culture and heritage offers.

“We need creativity, imagination and ingenuity to re-purpose our communities to exploit the opportunities ahead.

“It was great to have the chance to make those points to a wider audience and help reinforce Cumbria’s live, work and invest offer.”

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