Workington Port gains £5.7m investment boost

Destroyed Northside Bridge
Image caption Commuters were cut off after roads and bridges collapsed in Workington in November 2009

The Port of Workington is to undergo a £5.7m improvement programme.

Funding is being provided by the nuclear industry. The move promises to open up a regular trade route for local businesses with the rest of Europe.

It comes in addition to £4m spent on repairing the port's infrastructure, damaged in the floods of November 2009.

The project is being led by Britain's Energy Coast and will include infrastructure improvements and a new container handling facility.

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) is contributing £1.7m to infrastructure improvements.

Nuclear Management Partners (NMP) is contributing £4m to the scheme, to create a new container handling facility, including the installation of a new harbour crane to enable the port to handle large shipping containers from all over Europe.

"Bold statement"

John Clarke, the NDA's executive director of business planning said: " It's a fantastic example of the public and private sectors working in partnership, both in terms of funding and delivery."

NMP's head of socio-economics, Gary McKeating, said: "This is NMP's first significant infrastructure investment and will enable the port to offer a better, more regular service, to enable existing companies to develop their businesses."

Eddie Martin, leader of Cumbria County Council, which owns the port, said the upgrade of the port's facilities was a "big and bold statement" that Cumbria had global ambitions.

He added: "At a time when all the talk is about cutbacks and reductions, the port is bucking the trend with this ambitious project to build on its status as a major hub for transport and trade."

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