Major boost lined-up as city is shortlisted for Rolls Royce SMR factory

·2-min read
Kingmoor Park in Carlisle, which could be set to host the first SMR factory
Kingmoor Park in Carlisle, which could be set to host the first SMR factory

PRODUCTION for Rolls Royce's groundbreaking 'small modular reactors' could take place in Cumberland.

The news has been welcomed as a 'gamechanger' for the area, which could create 200 jobs with £200m of inward investment.

Kingmoor Park, in Carlisle, has made it to the shortlist of sites that could host one of three factories for Rolls Royce, developing the 'heavy vessels' for its SMR power station.

Rolls Royce SMR is leading a consortium of businesses with ambitions to build a fleet of 16 mini nuclear power stations in the UK, producing clean energy and slashing carbon emissions.

READ MORE: Copeland MP joins Rolls-Royce SMR for site visit

The business giant's unique approach is to build 90 per cent of the mini reactors in factory conditions before transporting the modular parts to the site where they will be assembled into a nuclear power station.

And the Kingmoor Park Industrial Estate in Carlisle is one of seven locations shortlisted to house an SMR factory.

Councillors have called the potential economic boost 'a gamechanger' for Cumberland.

Leader of Carlisle City Council, Cllr John Mallinson said: "This is great news for Kingmoor Park and the wider Carlisle and regional economy.

"The project is set to bring £200m investment and 200 jobs to the winning site – we hope that Carlisle is the chosen site for the investment. The city is supportive of new business and want to continue to build our economy."

Cllr Marilyn Bowman, portfolio holder for economy, enterprise and housing added: "This is another potential boost to Carlisle’s economy. If the site was to be based in the city, it would provide multi-million pound investment to the city and generate hundreds of jobs.

"It’s great news for Carlisle and the Borderlands region."

READ MORE: Moorside named by Government as a nuclear designated site

Those with a vested interest in the nuclear sector are campaigning to see sites neighbouring Sellafield in Copeland host the clean energy technology when it is brought online.

Rolls Royce has a memorandum of understanding with industry figures to bring the first of a kind SMR to a site near Sellafield, whether it be Moorside or Fellside.

News that Carlisle could house the factory to build it’s component parts has been hailed as positive news.

The city council’s ward councillor for Belah and Kingmoor Gareth Ellis said: “The SMR technology is one of the most important developments in energy generation for decades.

“For Carlisle to participate in these cutting edge technologies would be transformational.

“We have the transport links, the workforce and our complete support. 50 per cent of our energy comes from natural gas, any aspiration to replace that base load can only come from new nuclear development.

“It’s a competitive process but we will certainly be lobbying to make Carlisle the destination.”

READ MORE: 700 jobs to be created by West Cumbria skills project

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