THE leader of Cumbria County Council says significant investment is needed in the area to support the construction of three new nuclear reactors.

Stewart Young made it clear at the authority's Cabinet meeting today that to achieve the government’s nuclear aspirations the county needs better infrastructure in place.

The improvement of road and rail links and the building of more accommodation for the workforce should be priority, it was argued.

Members of the Cabinet made it clear that they would be looking to NuGen and the government to ensure that robust plans are put in place now to benefit communities.

The Cabinet met to agree the council’s response to NuGen’s Strategic Issues Consultation on the proposed 3.6GW new nuclear power facility at Moorside, next to Sellafield.

Stewart Young, leader of Cumbria County Council, said: “This multi-billion pound project is one of the linchpins of a decade of new investment in Cumbria that, at over £20 billion, will be on a par with HS2 and more than twice the level of investment London saw for the 2012 Olympics.

"In order to be deliverable, we need the right infrastructure in place to sustain the influx of materials and people necessary for a project this size.

"The lead-in time for this scale of development is years not months, with complex planning processes, and at the moment NuGen don’t plan to make their funding decision until 2018 before commencing build work in 2020.

"We cannot wait until then for investment to start flowing if we are to deliver the improvements we need in our roads, rail, port, accommodation and skills."