Page last updated at 12:17 GMT, Friday, 6 February 2009

Nuclear shutdown impact tackled

Nuclear decommissioning works
Work is currently under way to decommission the nuclear plant

A 2.5m investment to help tackle the economic impact of a nuclear plant closure has been announced.

Decommissioning work is currently under way on the Chapelcross nuclear plant near Annan in Dumfries and Galloway.

The grants are designed to support economic regeneration projects in the Gretna, Lockerbie and Annan area.

The majority of the funding from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA)will create an industrial park on land near the Chapelcross site.

The first project will see 500,000 invested annually for the next three years.

It will go towards the creation of an industrial park on a plot of land owned by the NDA but outside the nuclear site.

The land was once an airfield but has been unused for more than 30 years.

A 1m investment is also planned in the development of a "business incubation centre" on the industrial park.

It will help support start-up or expanding businesses.

New enterprises

NDA spokesman Bob Churchill said: "This investment will boost the economy of the Gretna-Lockerbie-Annan corridor, bringing significant benefits for the local community.

"Not only will it attract new businesses into the area but it will also help local entrepreneurs to expand existing businesses and develop new enterprises through the establishment of the business incubation centre."

The Chapelcross nuclear plant was built in 1959 and ceased generation in 2004.

In 2007 its landmark cooling towers were demolished and last year formal permission was received to start the lengthy process of defuelling its four reactors.

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