There are calls for clarity in this week’s Budget surrounding the future of Cumbria’s biggest industrial project.
Professor Andy Gale, the University of Cumbria’s director of industrial strategy, has voiced his hope that the Moorside project will receive full support from the government.
“The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, should do the right thing and put the full weight of government behind the £10bn Moorside Megaproject. This would be a game changer for Cumbria and the whole country, come to that.
This month John Woodcock MP, Barrow and Furness and Peter Haslam, the Nuclear Industry Association’s Head of Policy both called for the Government to support work to start on building the new Moorside nuclear power station. The project will increase significantly the demand for skills in Cumbria and will certainly draw in people from outside the region. The peak workforce required on site, during construction, will total around 10,000, tailing off to about 1000 when it is commissioned and during operation. The multiplier effect on the economy will be considerable. It is very important that the region is able to retain these incoming skills and the economic benefits that their presence will bring. Also, the infrastructure required, to enable the project, can be intelligently designed to add real value to quality of life in the community.
Education has a crucial role to play in this, at all levels: from nursery, through primary, secondary, further and higher education. As an anchor institution, the University of Cumbria, located on two of Britain’s five UNESCO World Heritage Sites, in Ambleside and Carlisle, makes an important contribution to higher level skills, social cohesion and infrastructure. Not only is the university leading, with the Further Education community, on the Government’s Apprenticeship agenda, fuelled by the new Apprenticeship Levy, the institution is working closely with the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, employers, schools, National Health Service, County and Borough Councils to strengthen the region’s Industrial Strategy.
In November, recognising effective collaboration for the “best enhancement of capability and capacity” with industry, in the first week of November, the university won the prestigious Nuclear Decommissioning Agency Supply Chain Award in collaboration with Sellafield Ltd.
The higher education landscape and its value proposition is changing; becoming more accessible, relevant, dynamic and diverse. The University of Cumbria, with industry and public sector employers, believes in creating a ladder of opportunity to enhance the possibilities for people, young and at any point in their life, to reach their full potential, attracting and retaining talent for Cumbria for the future.”