The elected mayor of Copeland has written an open letter to the Government demanding “urgent action” to secure a future for the Moorside nuclear power plant site.

Mike Starkie has called on ministers to give an “absolute commitment” to the future of the project, urging them to “do everything that is necessary” to revive plans for a new power station on the land adjacent to Sellafield.

Hopes for a nuclear power station were left in tatters when Japanese giant Toshiba decided to pull on NuGen, the developer that had been set to build a £15 billion power station on the Moorside site.

The company made the decision after failing to find a buyer for NuGen to take forward a project that would have created thousands of jobs during the construction and operation phases and generate around seven per cent of the UK’s energy needs.

The decision was met with shock and anger in Cumbria, with business leaders and politicians firmly laying the blame at the feet of the Government for failing to intervene and keep the economy-boosting project alive.

In a letter to business secretary Greg Clark, Mr Starkie repeated calls for the Government to step in by either providing “direct investment” or by creating the “right conditions” for another developer to step into the breach.

He said: “The people of West Cumbria would like a categoric assurance you will not abdicate your responsibility but moreover do everything that is necessary to secure large scale reactors on the Moorside site which will help bring security of energy supply to the UK.

“Such an assurance will also help confirm the Government’s acknowledgement of a west Cumbrian community that has uniquely supported the nuclear industry for generations with a committed and skilled workforce that has played its part.”

Pressure is now mounting on the Government to take action, with Copeland MP Trudy Harrison, Carlisle MP John Stevenson and Barrow MP John Woodcock holding discussions last week with energy minister Richard Harrington MP and senior officials from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The Government has repeatedly dismissed the collapse of NuGen and Moorside as a “commercial matter”.

And in a further blow for Cumbria, National Grid revealed last week that it is ready to pull the £2.8 billion upgrade to Cumbria’s electricity grid connection due to the project’s demise.

The North West Coast Connections project was set to create further investment and jobs, with more than 20 businesses from across Cumbria and Lancashire set to form part of its extensive supply chain.