THE future looks bright for local businesses as Cumbria moves to make its street lamps more energy efficient.
Cumbria County Council has said it is in talks with companies in Ulverston about replacing the county’s old lights with new LED bulbs.
At a meeting of the cabinet on Thursday, senior councillors agreed to spend ￡7.6m on the upgrade.
The move could result in a significant boost for the town, which is home to several major LED manufacturers including Forge Europa, Marl and Oxley. It is claimed the upgrade will save the council significant amounts of money and reduce Cumbria’s carbon footprint.
Jim Savage, corporate director of environment and community services, said the council is talking to companies in Ulverston about the plans.
Jayne Moorby, marketing manager at Oxley, said the announcement was good news for the town’s LED industry.
She said: “The more people who adopted LED lighting the better. It raises awareness of the technology and the through life savings are amazing.”
South Lakes councillor Clare Feeney-Johnson, the cabinet minister responsible for environment, praised the move.
She said she had experience of introducing LED lighting at a local level and was amazed at the savings that could be made.
Councillor Ian Stewart said: “Cumbria has a number of thriving businesses, particularly in Ulverston, involved in the the production of LED lighting kit.
“We are in the lead. There’s a potential benefit for the Cumbrian economy. It’s good to see the county council is heading in this direction.”
Councillor Anne Burns said: “This technology was developed in Ulverston and it’s gone worldwide. It would be good to see us working in partnership with one of our up and coming employers.”
At the same meeting, the cabinet also agreed that lighting in some areas will be dimmed or switched off in parts of Cumbria as part of a new cost-cutting plan.
The authority will now look at where it can upgrade lighting, where it can be dimmed and where lights could be switched off or lights removed altogether.