Partners Sign Chapelcross Agreement

Partners sign Chapelcross Agreement Partners from Dumfries and Galloway Council, Scottish Enterprise and the Nuclear Decommissioning Agency held an event on 7th March to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), marking the progression to the next phase of the Chapelcross Development CX 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. Phase one of the project was set up initially to mitigate the pressures following the closure of the Chapelcross Nuclear power Station which had 80% of its workforce living within 20 miles of the site.

The first phase has been so successful, generating a turnover of over £3,808,775, that it has been extended by six months and will not now finish until August 2017.

To date it has assisted almost 300 people, with almost 200 local businesses receiving intense support. When it was functioning, the Chapelcross site itself provided jobs for approximately 100 people. The scope of the second phase of the project could provide employment for many more.

It also has the potential to attract enterprises such as low carbon energy providers, a huge growth industry, as the area has established easy access to the National Grid.Leader of Dumfries and Galloway Council, Ronnie Nicholson also commented at the event: “The MoU isn’t just a piece of paper. It marks the start of an ambitious programme which should leave a legacy for future generations.

The agreement between the key agencies shows how serious we are about working together to find a viable future for Chapelcross and to bring jobs to the area.

Building the economy is our council’s number one priority and we cannot underestimate the potential the site has, not only as a result of its geography next to the motorway but also its links to the national grid. We would encourage businesses to jump at the chance to become part of this exciting opportunity and to utilise the assistance which will be available as a result of this joint agreement.”Gavin Stevenson, Chief Executive of Dumfries and Galloway Council said: “Since we started our journey the world has changed. Scotland is now a major exporter of energy and we are right on the border and in a unique and prime position to exploit the benefits. This site will be our legacy.

This programme has the potential to regenerate our rural economy and by attracting the correct investment and businesses we could build our economy to break the stranglehold of low wages in our region.

Both the UK and Scottish Governments must step up and recognise that it wouldn’t take a huge amount of strategic investment to develop this site. An enterprise zone in a prime position on the Border is good for businesses from both sides. “

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