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Mike Starkie, Mayor Copeland - statement

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Mike Starkie, Mayor Copeland - statement in relation to Toshiba's Moorside announcement

The Moorside site can deliver seven per cent of the UK’s energy supply and support the Government’s commitments for a mix of energy and a reduction in the use of fossil fuels; that requirement has not changed.

The site is still allocated for nuclear new-build, and is even more suitable now than at the outset of the project due to the preparatory work that has already been done.

It is hugely frustrating that we continue to be hampered by delays and uncertainty. I call upon the Government to support Moorside and give the confidence investors need to work with us.

The Government also needs to fully comprehend that the Copeland community is an incredibly valuable asset and it simply cannot afford that goodwill to depreciate. For decades our people have stood full square behind numerous governments in full support of their nuclear ambitions and we expect that support to be reciprocated. The Copeland community should not be taken for granted.

I am still confident however that a solution will be found to move the Moorside project forward. Copeland Council is firmly committed to supporting the development of the site for a new nuclear power station, and we’ll be lobbying the Government hard to get its financial muscle behind it the site by underpinning the development, to give it some traction and to build on the progress that has already been made

The Copeland economy is facing both challenges and opportunities to harness the value of hosting the Sellafield site and deliver the Government’s Industrial Strategy. As we approach the end of reprocessing at Sellafield, we are already working hard with Sellafield Ltd and other partners to reconfigure the local economy.

Moorside is of huge importance to Copeland but we cannot lose sight of the opportunities that already exist to broaden our economy. This requires a new and progressive conversation and action from Government and the NDA to step up to the plate and get 100 per cent behind the Sellafield transformation; that would kick start an immediate positive impact on our local economy.

This is not a time for party political point scoring, it is a time for all in public office at all levels to work together in the best interests of our economy and community.