Monthly Archives: September 2016

No Image



Rory Stewart MP officially opened the new Innovia polymer substrate manufacturing facility in Wigton, Cumbria on Friday, declaring global innovation to be in the heart of Penrith and The Border, and the plant representing “the very best of Cumbria”.

The event was attended by the Innovia CEO, Managing Director, staff, and guests who all celebrated Innovia’s total investment of over £40 million in the local region and the creation of an additional 80 skilled jobs. Innovia is the world’s leading provider of technologically advanced polymer banknotes, and the new facility has the capability to produce the most advanced banknotes in the world. The plant will be manufacturing the new £10 polymer notes for the Bank of England which are set to be introduced next year. They follow the launch of the Bank of England’s new £5 notes, also produced by Innovia, which are being rolled out later this month.

Speaking at the event Rory said: “This plant represents the very best of Cumbria. It is a huge honour to be opening Innovia’s state-of-the-art facility which is fundamental to the production of the UK’s new polymer notes, and we are showing here in Wigton some of the most impressive technology in the world. . This is a historic event, a real milestone in the company’s history, and it is happening right here in the historic market town of Wigton – historic, of course, for many reasons, but now also for being the home to one of the most globally advanced polymer technologies in existence. Not only that, but it brings into Wigton investment in the region of more than £40 million pounds, and the creation of 80 additional skilled jobs. It is a wonderful privilege to represent Wigton, its businesses, and its constituents, and this is a very proud moment for all. I see this as a fantastic vote of confidence because the Bank of England is the most respected financial institution in the world and it has chosen to manufacture its banknotes here in Wigton. That’s an extraordinary thing.”



Rory Stewart, MP for Penrith and The Border, on Friday formally launched the latest addition to the Eden-valley based Fellrunner minibus fleet by presenting the keys to the Chair, Mrs. Jill Hay. The new minibus was obtained through a successful bid for funding from the Government’s Community Transport Minibus Fund, a government fund available to community transport operators who wish to apply for a new minibus.

The Fellrunner bus service is a volunteer-led community service offering transport around the Eden Valley for those living in isolated and rural areas who do not have a commercial bus service available to them. Many of the users of the facility are elderly and do not have access to a commercial bus or the option of their own transport. For several, the Fellrunner service is a vital lifeline allowing people to remain living in the village of their choice whilst still retaining independence and a sense of community.

Speaking at the event, Rory said: “The Fellrunner volunteer bus service is a wonderful community-led organisation that performs an absolutely vital function for those living in our rural areas. Living in rural towns and villages has many benefits but can also be challenging for those without access to their own transport or bus service, this is why volunteer bus services are so necessary for keeping every member of our community capable of living where they choose. I am so grateful to the Community Transport Minibus Fund for supporting the Fellrunner service. This highlights how community projects can continue to thrive with the right support.”

Fellrunner Trustee Kevin McGilloway explained: “Back in 2014 the Government announced a £25million fund to provide community groups with minibuses to help offset the loss of commercial services due to the withdrawal of passenger subsidies. Fellrunner applied to the Fund but as we have been established and running bus services in the Eden Valley for over 30yrs, we did not think we had much chance of success. We applied for a low floor access minibus so that we would have two such buses in our total fleet of three. When we heard late last year that our bid had been successful it was like a lottery win for us!”



Rory Stewart, MP for Penrith and The Border, attended an event held by the charity Christians Against Poverty on Friday to help promote their life-changing services, and to celebrate their 20th anniversary. CAP offers a wide range of services for those struggling with debt problems including free and in-depth debt counselling in the customer’s own home. The service also offers budgeting advice, debt management plans, and specialist insolvency advice. CAP also offers a free money management course. In Cumbria, they have centres in Carlise, Kendal, Whitehaven, and Penrith which offer home visits and one to one support for people weighed down by debt.

Each of their centres operates in partnership with a local church and are supported by a team of volunteers whose role is to provide a befriending service for clients. They also have professionally trained debt counsellors at their Bradford head office who are available by phone, email, and text, Monday to Friday.Locally, CAP works in partnership with Penrith Methodist Church and King’s Church Eden. They offer counselling covering the whole of the Eden Valley including Alston Moor and they also run the CAP Money Course in Penrith.

Speaking at the event Rory praised CAP’s work, and discussed the issue of debt in modern society. “Poverty in Britain is a difficult issue. Its impact can vary from home to home. Poverty combined with debt can inflict real hurt on individuals and their families. It can lead to isolation, loneliness, disillusionment, and depression; all hints that there is something deeply wrong. Anything that we can do to support people in debt, and to educate about how to recover from debt, is of huge importance to us all as a society, and I am very pleased to support CAP’s efforts to address this serious problem.”

Jon Cook, the manager of the Eden Debt Centre, said “We want to thank Rory for his generosity in giving us his time and for the fantastic talk he gave and discussion he facilitated.  It was a great platform for our further discussions, and it has been a great help to us here in the CAP debt centre to have Rory’s input.  No doubt we will continue to engage in working together on future occasions.”



Over £1 million has been paid out by the government to more than 180 flood-hit farmers to help their business recovery after last winter’s storms.

In total more than £9 million will be allocated to over 1000 farmers across Northern England as part of the Farming Recovery Fund set up by the government. The fund formed part of the response to the unprecedented flooding seen across the region last December in the wake of Storms Desmond and Eva.

The funds have helped farmers to bring their land back to agricultural production through:

Mending and replacing fences, stone walls and gates, clearing debris deposited on land, restoring damaged river banks, and reinstating field access.

Farming Minister George Eustice said:

“The Farming Recovery Fund was set up as part of a wider £250 million package of government support set up to help communities affected by the devastating December floods.

“I am delighted that over £1million of repairs have been completed and reimbursed by the government, helping flood-affected farmers get their businesses back on track to contribute to a thriving rural economy and world-leading food and farming industry.”

‪RPA Chief Executive Mark Grimshaw said:

“I am pleased that we have been able to play our part in delivering the Farming Recovery Fund, approving applications that will help farmers recover from the effects of last year’s winter floods.

“With over £1 million already paid to farmers who have claimed, I would encourage those who have had their applications approved, to send their claims for completed work to us before the end of December deadline.”

All farmers who applied to the Farming Recovery Fund have been notified of the outcome of their application. Claims for completed repair work must be submitted to the RPA by 31 December 2016. Any farmer who is unable to meet the December deadline due to exceptional circumstances should contact the Rural Services Helpline.

Grants of up to £20,000 were available to farmers in Cumbria, Lancashire and Northumberland, Yorkshire, County Durham and Greater Manchester. In total, the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) received over 1100 applications by the close of the application window on 15 April 2016. Farmers who have completed their repairs need to fill in the Farming Recovery Fund claim form, with the required evidence and submit to the RPA.


Rory Stewart MP has formally submitted his views on the potential closure of Edenside Care Home in Appleby, as part of Cumbria County Council’s consultation. He has backed the campaign to keep Edenside care home since its inception, and has over the course of the past months had several meetings and discussions with residents, relatives, and local parties, attending the rally in May.

His statement to Cumbria County Council is as follows:

“I have in the past months been a vocal supporter of the care home, and of the need to reopen it as soon as possible. I continue to lend it my support, and wish to put on record my belief that the care home has an enhanced role to play in the local community, and to state that I wish the outcome of the consultation to be that Edenside care home remains.

Appleby has a growing, and ageing, population. The need for a care home has never been greater. It is true that flood events will always pose potential dangers, but the government and the Environment Agency are investing significant sums of money into making Appleby more flood-resilient as a town; this, inevitably, will have a positive impact on Edenside’s safety. This is‎ a public amenity that has been there for years. I also believe that an emergency evacuation plan can be prepared in advance of any potential event, and can be implemented in reasonable and secure time

The fact remains that the elderly and vulnerable residents of Appleby can look forward to better outcomes and a better quality of life, and are less of a burden on primary health services, when they receive care and attention in their own communities and close to home. I have visited residents of Edenside in their temporary home in Penrith, and have learned of the very negative impact that this temporary arrangement has caused. I fully believe that Edenside requires the necessary investment into repairs, so that it can reopen without further delay.”

Cumbria County Councillor Martin Stephenson added: “ I sincerely hope when Cumbria County Council Cabinet members consider the future of the Edenside residential home on Thursday 22nd September that they take the decision to do all the work which is necessary to re-open Edenside then start to consider future plans for new modern facilities in Appleby to meet the growing needs, out of the flood zone, to alleviate future risks.”edenside_rory