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Last Updated: Monday, 7 February, 2005, 16:19 GMT
Aid for closed nuclear plant area
Chapelcross nuclear power station
Chapelcross closed after 45 years
An 8m package aimed at regenerating the economy of part of Dumfries and Galloway has been announced.

It follows the closure and decommissioning of the Chapelcross nuclear power station, near Annan.

Scottish Enterprise Dumfries and Galloway said the cash could generate an additional 50m of private sector investment and create 2,500 jobs over the next decade.

The nuclear plant, one of Britain's first, stopped producing electricity

last year after 45 years in operation.

Regeneration cash

Chief executive of Scottish Enterprise Dumfries and Galloway Colin Williamson said it was necessary to address the challenges of losing Chapelcross.

Before the closure, it had about 430 employees and generated 20m a year for the triangle bounded by Annan, Lockerbie and Gretna.

Many of the Chapelcross workforce were kept on for defuelling and decommissioning after production ceased.

The regeneration cash will be used to invest in projects which provide a return, rather than giving grant aid.

A company will be set up to oversee the process, concentrating on developments in the Annan, Lockerbie and Gretna corridor.

The enterprise company said the first tangible announcements about potential jobs and inward investment could come in the next couple of months.

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