A MULTI million pound deal for the nuclear industry has been welcomed by a former parliamentary candidate.

Simon Fell, who ran against John Woodcock in the 2017 general election, said a £200m stimulus package announced by the government was a "welcome boost" for Barrow's industry.

Now the spokesman for the Conservative Party in Barrow, Mr Fell said securing the future of the civil nuclear industry was vital.

He said: "Nuclear energy doesn’t just keep the lights on, it fuels local jobs, wages, economic prosperity and drives UK innovation.

“I want to build on our strengths and the vital contribution that the industry makes in Barrow and Furness, up the road in Copeland, and across the country, to make sure that the UK continues to be at the forefront of nuclear industry in the future.

"This deal, and the investment, will drive innovation, create jobs and boost the economy across the country and crucially drive down energy prices for consumers."

Business secretary Greg Clark recently announced the government would push to drive down costs for the UK's nuclear industry.

He said: "The UK is the home of civil nuclear technology and with this investment in innovation and our commitment to increasing diversity in an already highly-skilled workforce, I want to ensure we remain the world leader."

The civil nuclear industry is a hugely important sector within the UK's economy. One of the key aims of the government's cash injection is to encourage more women into an industry which has always been dominated by men.

Nuclear sector companies employ 65,000 people across the country, however currently only 22 per cent of the workforce are women.

This deal will deliver up to 100,000 jobs overall in nuclear by 2021 and diversify the workforce, with a target of 40 per cent women working in the nuclear sector by 2030.

Justin Bowden, national officer for the GMB union, said: "This is a good news story for vital UK infrastructure and jobs but there must be a Government stake and certainty on the financing to make the sector deal work.

"As the existing UK fleet of nuclear power stations reach the end of their working lives, the country desperately needs the electricity and jobs these zero-carbon stations will produce as part of balanced energy mix of renewables, nuclear and gas."