The creation of a ‘clean energy hub’ at Moorside in Cumbria could mean a post-pandemic 25,000 jobs bonanza across the north west, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said today (Tuesday 30 June).

Unite has joined with 16 major companies and other unions to promote the Moorside Clean Energy Consortium which proposes a package of nuclear projects, including a new power station.

Unite hopes that this initiative will kick-start the construction of Moorside nuclear power station, stalled since Toshiba withdrew from the project in November 2018.

Unite also hopes that this industry/trade union plan prompts business, energy and industrial strategy (BEIS) secretary Alok Sharma to give a copper-bottomed commitment to ‘new nuclear’ as part of the government’s much-vaunted ‘levelling up’ strategy.

Unite regional secretary for the north west Ritchie James said: “The launch of this initiative is to be warmly welcomed. The north west region is reeling from the adverse economic impact of Covid-19 with thousands of jobs across all sectors under severe threat as the furlough scheme tapers off.

“The fact that this consortium is looking beyond tomorrow and into a low carbon future is good news, given that there could be a post-pandemic 25,000 jobs bonanza across the region if this takes off.

“When Toshiba withdrew from the Moorside site, after well-publicised financial problems in 2018, this was a blow to the economic future of Cumbria – we hope the consortium, to which Unite has signed up to, will kick-start a decision from government.”

Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail said: “Business secretary Alok Sharma needs to provide the financial support and political clout for ‘new nuclear’ as part of the much-heralded ‘levelling up’ strategy that has been repeatedly promised by Boris Johnson. Now is the time for the rhetoric to translate into reality.

“We continue to urge the government to articulate its long-term commitment to a new era for nuclear power where it plays a vital role in the energy ‘mix’ – without this commitment, it is difficult to see how the UK can meet its ‘net zero’ pledge by 2050.”


Notes to editors:

Unite has endorsed the recent blueprint for a nuclear future – “Forty by ’50: A Nuclear Roadmap” – produced by the Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) which predicts  £33bn of added economic value and large-scale decarbonisation are possible, with the creation of 300,000 jobs and up to 40 per cent ‘clean’ power on the cards by 2050.

Unite has also supported the application by French energy giant EDF to the Planning Inspectorate for a development consent order (DCO) for Sizewell C on the Suffolk coast, with the prospect of 25,000 jobs during construction and 1,000 apprenticeships. It would also provide 900 operational jobs during the 60 years it is expected to be in service.

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on:  020 3371 2065.

Please note the numbers above are for journalists’ enquiries only.


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Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.