Having been elected for almost a year now I have been fortunate to meet with a number of businesses, education providers and organisations in construction, manufacturing and low carbon industries.
West Cumbria has been a driving force in low-carbon energy, and this constituency is home to key innovators in the sector. With a Government commitment to net-zero by 2050, I was pleased to hear the Prime Minister set out his Green Recovery Plan - a Green Industrial Revolution - to help level up the country.
Across the Workington constituency, many businesses and training providers have already made the first steps, and I strongly believe that West Cumbria can contribute at a national level.
The Prime Minister’s first point was to ‘make the UK the Saudi Arabia of Wind’- an industry with a significant local presence that is set to expand. West Cumbria has offshore capacity and will benefit from this expansion. With an ambitious Government agenda to create enough offshore capacity to power every home by 2030, coupled with the existing offshore wind infrastructure, and the road, rail and port infrastructure that expansion requires, the west coast of Cumbria is perfectly placed to take advantage.
In his third point, Boris notes the importance of new nuclear power, again an industry that has a large skill base and supply chain in our county. Whether it be large scale or small nuclear reactors, Cumbria can contribute to national nuclear baseload requirements. This will secure the future employment of many.
Away from the practical, manufacturing, engineering and low-carbon energy producing contributions, the Government has also outlined ways in which public buildings and individuals can contribute to net zero by 2050. The Government is investing £1 billion next year to make homes, schools and hospitals greener - preserving our environment and lowering energy bills. This is good news for households across Britain.
And then there is nature itself. I have always been a strong advocate for careful rewilding and indeed this is something that I have championed sine my election. With its beautiful landscape and wide, open spaces, West Cumbria is well placed to assist with the commitment to plant trees to absorb carbon, while also addressing potential future flooding issues. The commitment to plant 30,000 hectares of trees a year by 2025 is an initiative that our constituency has embraced, and I will continue to encourage further uptake.
This Green Industrial Revolution will undoubtedly help our environment by lowering carbon usage and creating more green power. However I also want to see it contribute to the economy.
West Cumbria has a strong low carbon industry and I see this revolution as an opportunity to grow the sector, create new jobs, upskill our workforce, be more innovative and create grow local supply chains.
This will be a Green Recovery built on high-skilled jobs, with the Workington constituency contributing significantly to making the country cleaner, greener and bringing nature, and our beautiful landscapes, back to the fore.