Carlisle Lake District Airport and Carlisle City Council are calling on businesses and communities across Cumbria and the Lake District to get behind the airport’s freeport campaign.
The Stobart Group-owned and operated airport and local authority made the announcement as the UK government unveiled a consultation to ‘inform’ Boris Johnson’s administration around the policy.
The post-Brexit proposal would see 10 locations established across the country with different customs rules than the rest of the UK.
Kate Willard of Stobart Group met with Carlisle City Council CEO Jason Gooding and Carlisle MP John Stevenson to discuss the next stages of the airport’s proposal on Monday (10 February).
The plan aims to unlock the region’s ‘great potential’ since the site has a ‘huge amount of land’ around its site and had “strong transport links” underpinned by Stobart Group’s logistical experience and heritage.
More than 150,000 high-value jobs could be created across the Northern Economy as part of the freeports plan, with £9bn additional a year added to the region, according to a 2018 report from consultants Mace.
Kate Willard of Stobart Group said: “It is fantastic to have the council’s and John Stevenson’s support for our distinctive freeport bid.
“Our proposal is unique because of the cross-border nature of Carlisle Lake District Airport and the ongoing strong public-private partnership between the airport and the council.
“We believe awarding Carlisle Lake District Airport with freeport status will boost innovation, trade and investment across the region and that is why we want everyone in Cumbria and the Lake District to back our bid.
“We will be opening up our conversations around our freeport plan, so you should be hearing more from us soon at this exciting time.”
Jason Gooding, Chief Executive of Carlisle City Council, added: “A freeport at Carlisle Lake District Airport would not only deliver clear economic benefits in its own right, it would enhance the effectiveness of the substantial investments of public and private money that are being made in our region. Confidence and opportunity has never been higher in the Borderlands region which is why we need to work together as partners to make the case for a freeport and enable UK Government to make good on its stated intention to power up the North.”