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Latest GSK Meeting Held During Ulverston Site Buyer Search

Another meeting is taking place on the progress being made to find a buyer for Ulverston's Glaxo site.

Drugs giant GSK is pulling out of the town after ditching plans in the summer for a new £350m biopharmaceutical factory.

Furness MP John Woodcock will meet privately with senior GSK staff, stakeholders, council representatives, and trade unions at the Coronation Hall this afternoon.

Last month, a taskforce set up in Ulverston to help mitigate the effects of GSK's decision to pull the plug on the new facility, said better rail services are needed "urgently" in efforts to attract potential new buyers to take over the site. 

At a public meeting, Mr Woodcock slammed what he described as "the dire state" of train services on the Furness line.

Mr Woodcock said: “I know passengers are sick to death of the dreadful reliability of services to and from Lancaster and up the coast and the clapped out uncomfortable carriages and ancient locomotives which break down, belch smoke and give a dreadful impression of the area. 

“So far, the warm words from the Conservative government about local transport improvements before the election have come to nothing but we are not going to put up with a situation where ministers can find huge sums for Northern Ireland but starve the north of desperately needed resources. 

“Re-convening the Cumbria Better Connected campaign next week will be a good opportunity both to quiz Northern Rail about the state of their services and to coordinate a renewed community wide push for the improvements we need from the government.

“When I saw managers from Northern in the House of Commons this week they acknowledged that the Furness line was the biggest source of complaints for the whole network. 

"They need to put us top of the queue for better rolling stock and so do the government who robbed this area when they redirected decent carriages from here to the Chilterns. 

"The situation is now so bad that many passengers are saying they are cancelling trips because they have no confidence in the service and potential inward investors risk being put off when their first impression of the area is a decrepit third world rail line.”

Mr Woodcock first unveiled the Cumbria Better Connected campaign in 2012 with the aim of retaining the direct service between Barrow and Manchester airport.

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