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Bus Station’s outstanding impact recognised in national awards

The transformation of Whitehaven’s former Bus Station into a thriving business hub has been celebrated this week after receiving a national award for its impact.

The redevelopment of the once derelict bus station in Whitehaven has been recognised by the Institute of Economic Development (IED) at their 2023 awards, receiving the award for outstanding impact.

The IED is the UK’s leading independent professional body representing economic development and regeneration practitioners. Their annual awards recognise achievers in the public and private sectors and demonstrate the value of economic development work for local and regional communities.

The revitalised Bus Station reopened in May 2021 following an extensive £8.2m regeneration project co-funded by Sellafield Ltd and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and delivered by BEC with support from Copeland Borough Council.

Sellafield Ltd contributed £5.7m to the project, as well as expert support, as part of its social impact, multiplied (SiX) programme of community investments which seek to leverage public and private sector funding to help grow and diversify the West Cumbrian economy.

Two years on, the Bus Station is now a dynamic collaboration environment, designed for business start-ups and entrepreneurs and featuring co-working spaces, meeting rooms and a shared maker space giving access to equipment such as 3D printers and laser and vinyl cutting tools.

It is also home to the first Barclays Eagle lab outside of a major city in the north of England, helping to support and boost residents and creating 24 jobs.

Gary McKeating, Head of Development and Community, Sellafield Ltd, yesterday said:

“We’re delighted to gain further recognition for this amazing and vibrant example of how we and our partners are delivering transformational changes for our local economy.

“It underlines how more can be achieved by working in partnership and how our impacts are multiplied when we collaborate.

“The Bus Station has exceeded all of our expectations in terms of occupancy and impact, and we will continue to support the Eagle Lab through mentorship and other support programmes.”

Jamie Reed, Director of Socio Economics, NDA, yesterday said:

“We’re delighted that the Bus Station has been recognised with this prestigious award. The Bus Station is one of the impressive and successful projects in the NDA group social impact portfolio, and this development is a significant and welcome West Cumbrian success story, demonstrating the power of partnership working.

“The NDA is committed to creating environmental and societal benefits, building on our long history of providing value for the UK.

“We invest around £15 million nationally each year in enabling permanent, positive, and significant social and economic change in our communities, and investing in projects such as this will benefit the local community of Whitehaven and beyond for years to come.”


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