Budget difficulties faced by the North West Regional Development Agency (NWRDA) could block plans for an “Eden Project of the North”.
Allerdale Borough Council first unveiled plans to transform a 400ha derelict Ministry of Defence (MoD) site at Broughton Moor in Cumbria more than a year ago (HW, 5 February 2004).
The MoD was set to sell the site to Allerdale subject to a £20 million NWRDA grant.
Now Allerdale Borough Council leader Jim Musgrave has said the council and its partners in the scheme have concerns about funding sources following NWRDA budget difficulties. He said hopes to transform the site into a high-quality tourist attraction had disintegrated, adding: “We haven’t had a formal rejection of our proposals by the agency and we are continuing to negotiate. Recent discussions look promising and we are hopeful progress will be made shortly.
“This is a very complicated and time-consuming project but we believe it has great potential for the whole of west Cumbria. We are receiving valuable help from local MP Tony Cunningham and we will be keen to raise the matter with secretary of state for trade and industry Patricia Hewitt through the West Cumbria Strategic Forum, which she chairs.”
Other projects in the North West, including road improvements for the region, have been affected by financial problems at the NWRDA.
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