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Saturday, 02 August 2014

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Jobs jackpot as nuclear scheme wins cash boost

A LANDMARK nuclear scheme is among the winners from a £27m cash injection that should create almost 2,000 jobs in Cumbria.

Among the projects the cash is helping unlock is the creation of the Nuclear Technology and Innovation Gateway in West Cumbria.

Work is under way to design and submit plans for the £26.5m scheme – creating about 60 jobs – after it received £1.5m through the deal.

The Gateway is planned to be a centre of excellence for the atomic industry, at the forefront of research and development innovations and cutting-edge fuels, computing, reprocessing and remote engineering skills.

The cash boost means building work on it could get under way next summer with the development complete by 2017.

Located at Westlakes Science Park, the balance of the money for the development has been earmarked from University of Manchester, the National Nuclear Laboratory and European funding.

A total of eight major money and job-spinning schemes are to go ahead after this week’s agreement between the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership and the Government.

The Growth Deal, backed by Prime Minister David Cameron, is also expected to fuel the construction of another 3,000 homes in the county and be a trigger to seeing a wider combined £50m of public and private investment in the next few years.

Elsewhere in the county, a boost for the Port of Workington is also on the cards, as are improvements to an important tourism route through the Lake District.

Cumbria LEP chairman George Beveridge, the managing director of Sellafield, described the news as “great result” for the county.

He said: “There is £12bn worth of major scheme investment already in the pipeline for Cumbria and this new money will help deliver the infrastructure, skills base and support needed to support that investment. The Cumbrian economy is at a watershed moment and it’s important that we now know that we have Government backing for our priority schemes.”

Announcing the cash package, Mr Cameron said: “This historic deal means real change with exciting plans for Cumbria.”

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