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South Copeland

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South Copeland is the most southerly part of West Cumbria, encompassing coastal areas and fell country. The main town in the locality is Millom, which is separated from the Furness peninsula by the Duddon Estuary and is bounded to the west by the Irish Sea.

South Copeland is the most southerly part of West Cumbria, encompassing coastal areas and fell country.  The main town in the locality is Millom, which is separated from the Furness peninsula by the Duddon Estuary and is bounded to the west by the Irish Sea.

The area is sometimes perceived of as disadvantaged by its location off the main Cumbrian west coast (A595) which south of Sellafield is no longer a trunk road. In effect the road acts as a bypass diverting potential visitors away from these communities and in the process affecting the economic development potential of the wider peninsula. The region is also disadvantaged in attracting visitors and inward investment by the vehicular access along the A595 at the Duddon river crossing where a small by-pass would benefit, along with general improvements to the road from Silecroft to Millom.

Millom is a market town and service centre for the villages of Haverigg, Silecroft, Bootle, The Green, The Hill, Kirksanton and a scattered rural population, providing employment and services for residents and visitors. Haverigg is the only sizeable village near to Millom and with its proximity to Millom is often treated as an extension of the town.  In the past few years Millom, has been part of a Market Town Initiative and a regeneration programme has been focusing on creating jobs, business support and growth and skills development.

Millom has two nature reserves and the Duddon Estuary is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), as well as having international designation as a Special Protection Area for nature conservation value.  There is a designated Conservation Area in the town of Millom, and a number of Scheduled Ancient Monuments in the locality area, including the ruins of Millom Castle to the north of the town.  The area benefits from its fine stretches of beach and sand dunes which have attracted visitors for generations and together with the freshwater lagoon at Hodbarrow hosts two caravan sites.
 
The key current issues for the area are economic decline, relative isolation, poor transport infrastructure and a poor quality built environment.  Historically, the economy was based on the iron works and agriculture.  Since the ore mines and works closed in the late 1960s, the area has struggled to attract inward investment to support new business development. However, the closure of the mines and ironworks has resulted in the expansion of tourism facilities and with its place on the energy coast and wonderful environment, this locality has much potential to benefit the growth of high quality eco tourism as well as both low and high tech jobs.

Published: 23 August 2012 - 1:40pm