NuGen boss Tom Samson revealed the collapse of the Moorside project on Cumbria’s economy and communities was his greatest disappointment.

In a lengthy statement, Tom Samson expressed his desire to see another project come forward to fill the void left by his company’s demise.

Toshiba announced in the early hours of yesterday that is was pulling the plug on NuGen after failing to make sufficient progress on finding a buyer.

The decision has left the £15bn Moorside power station plans in tatters, taking with it the potential for thousands of jobs, millions of pounds in new investment and a seven per cent contribution to the nation’s energy needs.

Praising the dedication of NuGen staff and the commitment from Toshiba, Mr Samson said: “The most significant aspect of my disappointment is related to the impact this will have on Cumbria.

“NuGen has been intrinsically linked with future opportunity and prosperity in Cumbria.

“The transformational economic effects of Moorside on local education, apprenticeships, jobs, regional infrastructure, supply chain growth, entrepreneurialism and aspirational opportunity are enormous.

“We sincerely hope that a solution for Moorside can be found to fill the inevitable gap that our wind-up will create in those communities across Cumbria and more widely across the Northern Powerhouse.”

Toshiba’s decision to wind up NuGen has been greeted with shock and anger in Cumbria, with many firmly pointing the finger of blame at the Government for failing to act to save NuGen and keep Moorside on track.

Mr Samson said the late introduction of a new and underdeveloped profit model for the project by the Government, mid negotiation with potential buyer Kepco, was one of the reasons why the project had failed to progress.

The other stemmed back to early 2017 when the then Toshiba subsidiary Westinghouse filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the USA in early 2017 – a move which ultimately led Toshiba to divest from overseas nuclear projects and pursue the sale of NuGen.

Mr Samson – who had vowed to “fight tooth and nail” to save the project – added: “We were caught between a series of unplanned and uncontrollable events.”

He called for greater leadership and clarity to help the UK deliver “vital low carbon projects which will have such a meaningful impact on our future”.

He added: “NuGen is winding-up when the need for new nuclear in the UK is clear and the delivery of the Government’s Industrial Strategy could not be more important for Cumbria.

“These factors highlight the challenges when the solutions we are pursuing to deliver economic and energy prosperity for the country are so heavily reliant upon foreign investment and foreign decision making.”

Toshiba previously said it wanted to offload NuGen by the end of the financial year, but could make the decision earlier if it was not convinced a deal was achievable.

In a statement yesterday, it said it was “unable to anticipate” a sale for NuGen despite negotiations taking place with investors, which included Korean state-owned utility Kepco and Canadian asset management company Brookfield.

“After considering the additional costs entailed in continuing to operate NuGen, Toshiba recognises that the economically rational decision is to withdraw from the UK nuclear power plant construction project, and has resolved to take steps to wind-up NuGen,” it concluded.