News story

Plans revealed for new nuclear industry hub in Cumbria

Sellafield Ltd is set to create a hub for about 100 nuclear workers in Millom.

A colour image of the Library in central Millom

The town’s library in Millom would be regenerated and converted into offices.

The company is exploring the move with Cumbria County Council.

Under the proposals, the town’s library would be regenerated and converted into offices, subject to negotiations and consultation.

The aim is to create flexible workspace for employees of all Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) group businesses.

Rather than being permanently based in the building, workers will use it as a ‘touchdown’ hub.

This will create additional options for people who live south of the Sellafield site.

It also aims to reduce pressure on the county’s roads and contribute to a lowering of carbon emissions by cutting the number of car journeys to and from Sellafield.

Considerable work will be required to upgrade the building. Work is ongoing to finalise the lease arrangements, secure the relevant approvals, and implement governance arrangements.

The county council will be carrying out engagement sessions with library customers and staff to ensure their views are incorporated into any changes to its location.

The Millom hub plan is part of Sellafield Ltd and the NDA’s accommodation and Social Impact Strategies.

Both are designed to maximise community benefit from the Sellafield Ltd decommissioning programme.

Paul Foster, chief executive of Sellafield Ltd, said:

Creating a hub in Millom has long been an aspiration of ours and I’m delighted to see it coming to fruition.

Moving people off the Sellafield site frees up valuable space for decommissioning and reduces the number of vehicles on the roads.

But most importantly, it stimulates economic activity in our towns and makes employment opportunities more accessible for local communities.

This ensures we’re generating maximum social impact for our communities from the Sellafield mission.

Andrew van der Lem, head of government relations for the NDA, said:

The NDA is committed to maximising the value of all of our nuclear sites around the UK for the benefit of those communities that have supported and enabled the UK’s nuclear programme.

This development is a brilliant example of how this can be done in partnership with the local community.

We’ll be explaining how we intend to continue to do this with the publication of our Local Economic and Social Impact Strategy next month, building on the excellent work already happening in West Cumbria.

Copeland Mayor Mike Starkie said:

Maximising the economic impact of Sellafield beyond the site gates is essential.

This is a landmark move that represents the biggest development in Millom for a generation.

I look forward to seeing the project begin so we can build on this success.

Sellafield Ltd and the NDA are helping us to achieve our ambitions as a community and this augurs well for the future.

Trudy Harrison, MP for Copeland, said:

This is a fantastic step forward for Millom and South Copeland.

Maximising the value of the Sellafield site in the Copeland economy is imperative for our future economic success.

This is a big step forward for Millom, for local people and the nuclear industry.

Relocating Sellafield jobs across the community is an essential building block of the regeneration of towns and villages throughout Copeland and I look forward to working with nuclear partners to build upon this investment in the future.

Published 24 January 2020