Future Opportunities for Chapelcross Site – CX Project

A Memorandum of Understanding to mark the start of the second stage of the CX project will be signed on 7th March by partners: Dumfries and Galloway Council, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and Scottish Enterprise.

The document sets out how each of the Partners will be involved, how they will be represented on the Project Team, and what their roles and responsibilities will be.
It was recognised when the Chaplecross Nuclear power station closed that 80% of the workforce lived within 9 miles of the site and 97% within 20 miles, with a large proportion of the £30 million payroll flowing into the local economy each year. In order to mitigate the impact of the site’s closure, and to regenerate the wider community of Annandale and Eskdale, Dumfries and Galloway Council and its partners embarked on this ambitious Economic Development project.
Over the past five years the Council, the Nuclear Decommissioning Agency (NDA) and Scottish Enterprise have been collaborating on the delivery of the very successful NDA funded CX Project, which helps businesses in the surrounding area to grow and flourish.
To date the CX Project has generated a turnover of £3,808,775, assisted almost 300 people, with 194 businesses receiving intensive support. Businesses have been diverse: from dog grooming to tattooing, whiskey to tablet and graphic design to motorsport, amongst others, and the project has been a resounding success. In addition to supporting existing businesses in the area to grow and expand into new markets, the CX project has also helped 114 young people to date to achieve their ambition to run their own businesses by investing just over £117k.
In addition, as a result of CX funded master plans, almost £1.1m has been invested by the council in the Gretna Central Avenue Park and public realms project. The project has also funded Functional Skills courses in maths and English for ex Chaplecross employees, with a view to improving eligibility for future employment.
During the fourth year of the project, part of the funding has been used to prepare the ‘Chapelcross Development Framework’, as a blue print to take the development of the site forward past 2017, when the CX Project comes to an end. This will provide a guide for the redevelopment of the site to incorporate a diverse mix of employment and industrial uses.
Unlike the initial CX Project, which focussed on local businesses, the new stage of the programme will focus on the development and potential of the site itself, which has the ability to attract significant developments from both regional and national developers and from key growth sectors. It has therefore been agreed that partners will need to show a clear common purpose when implementing the Development Framework.

Colin Smyth, Chair of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s EEI Committee commented: “This is a huge project, with massive potential, and we must take this opportunity to build on the success we’ve had with local businesses to date. The site could provide businesses with an ideal setting, with transport links close to hand through the M74 corridor, which would provide an enormous boost to the region’s employment and economy.
Dumfries and Galloway Council will take leadership of the delivery of business plans emanating from the adopted Chapelcross Development Framework and make cash and in kind contributions to activities as well as giving due consideration to funding activities and elements of work required to deliver our Council’s undertaking of this thriving and fruitful project.”

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