Page last updated at 08:16 GMT, Wednesday, 23 July 2008 09:16 UK

Coast 2bn masterplan is unveiled

The masterplan could create 16,000 jobs

A masterplan to invest 2bn and create 16,000 energy jobs in west Cumbria have been unveiled.

The aim is to turn the area into an "energy coast" and boost its economy with a new reactor at Sellafield as well as a national nuclear laboratory.

The Business Secretary and Barrow and Furness MP, John Hutton, revealed the proposals on Wednesday.

The regeneration will also include more money for schools and academies and an acute hospital in West Cumbria.

It is also expected that more cash will be spent on improving transport links and attracting tourists, including a new hotel in Whitehaven.

Economic dividends

Mr Hutton said: "The UK, like other countries around the world, is getting into a nuclear renaissance and given that West Cumbria is the home of the UK nuclear industry, we've got a tremendously exciting future ahead of us.

"The government will be doing all it possibly can to ensure the country as a whole, and local people, enjoy the economic dividends of the switch to nuclear, which is going to happen."

Ongoing investments in the area include a total of 80m being spent on improving housing and a further 30m on the A66, the main link between the M6 and West Cumbria

There are also plans to invest 50m on developing cultural, sporting and leisure facilities.


Cumbria will be an energy centre

Nuclear power firm to run school
24 Jun 08 |  Cumbria
Sellafield 'dirty for a century'
10 Jul 08 |  Northern Ireland

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