A MULTI-MILLION-POUND centre built to train the next generation of nuclear workers has been hailed as a major boost for Cumbria.

Government ministers this week pledged £15m for the creation of the National College for Nuclear, which will have its headquarters at Lillyhall and Somerset.

Based at Lakes College, the hi-tech West Cumbrian facility will train the next generation of nuclear workers in a range of specialised careers and is set to open its doors in September 2017.

The target is to train more than 7,000 learners at the two centres by 2020. The news has been welcomed by Jamie Reed and Sue Hayman, Labour MPs for Copeland and Workington respectively.

Mr Reed said: “I’ve fought for this money for a long time and this project should be seen squarely as part of the Energy Coast vision we have been delivering for 10 years now.

“This is another step towards building a new west Cumbria and investing in the future of our young people.

“This plan has been bought into by three successive different governments. That’s how our unique plan is and that is why our success is entirely within the national interest. I’ll keep working for these investments because our best days truly are ahead of us.”

Led by Sellafield Ltd and EDF Energy in partnership with Lakes College and the University of Cumbria, the training facilities will include a realtor simulator and engineering facilities.

Skills Minister Nick Boles said: “The National College has been designed with employers, for employers. It will produce the skills needed now and into the future to ensure the UK remains innovative and at the forefront of pioneering industry.”

Colin Reed, Sellafield Ltd’s human resources director and board chair for the National College for Nuclear, added: “Work will now begin on developing the curriculum which will help to train the next generation of nuclear workers.”

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