CALLS have been made for the government to back the Moorside project after a possible funding deal for a North Wales plant was announced.

Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock has called for a similar deal to be made for proposed Cumbria plant after business secretary Greg Clark announced plans to consider direct investment into a new multi-billion pound nuclear power station.

Any direct investment in the project, at Wylfa on Anglesey in north Wales, will be made alongside the Japanese government and Horizon Nuclear Power, a subsidiary of Japanese giant Hitachi.

Mr Woodcock said: "If the government is prepared to give financial backing to the Wylfa project in Anglesey it should be willing to do the same for Moorside which holds the potential to create upwards of 20,000 high skilled jobs that are needed in Cumbria.

"The Nuclear Industry Association has also called on the government to take a stake in Moorside to help reduce the huge capital costs relating to new build projects at the site."

NuGen, the firm behind the plans, announced a pause in the development of the project in May last year, pending a strategic review.

Mr Woodcock's calls for Moorside support were echoed by Sue Ferns, deputy general secretary of the Prospect union.

She said: "By taking a share in this project the costs can be lowered, work can be directed to UK companies and the UK's skills base can be developed.

"In order to capitalise on this the Government must take a similar approach to other sites such as Moorside in Cumbria."