THE CX PROJECT IS SUPPORTED BY
Chapelcross’ history as an RAF airfield and more significantly as a nuclear power station has left a deep and lasting connection with the local community in the Annandale part of the Dumfries & Galloway region. There are strong social and economic ties to Annan and the wider area through generations of workers and their families and the social frameworks delivered by the nuclear industry to support and participate in local life either through clubs and schools or assisting young entrepreneurs and local businesses.
The role that Chapelcross has played in the local community has been significant and, whilst its decommissioning was initially seen as economically damaging because of the loss of employment the new phase of the site now presents new opportunities; brought about by changes in the power industry and the necessity to generate cleaner energy through sustainable sources.
In addition Chapelcross has something most other Nuclear power stations don’t have and that is land. The Government acquired more land at Chapelcross than it needed at the time so it could expand the size of the facility over time. However, in the end, that didn’t happen, creating an opportunity to reuse the site to develop new employment opportunities but also potentially transition the facility from nuclear generation to clean energy production.
The site’s former use a power station means it already has some of the essential infrastructure in place to enable new energy production and new mixed-use industrial development and make a significant contribution the Country’s burgeoning energy demands.
The scale of the site is large and extends to approximately 190ha and set in context could fit the entire town of Annan within its boundaries. It is in the ownership of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and presents a rare, though challenging, opportunity to stimulate and revitalise the economy of Dumfries and Galloway.
Dumfries & Galloway Council working alongside its partners, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Government are developing a new ambition and vision for the site. This will be incorporated into a new design code that will underpin a simplified planning zone on the site, which will detail how energy and industry uses can be developed alongside one another within a high value natural environment. The new vision will aspire to new levels of design, transforming the way we have traditionally come to build employment parks instead creating a destination of choice for industry and business within the region but also further afield. As Chapelcross evolves over the next 5 years the Council will be looking to create a development opportunity that becomes a key driver for economic growth across the region through major inward investment. This includes developing the opportunities around energy production and industry related uses, presenting an attractive environment for international investor’s business brands, low carbon energy innovators and academic research institutions, all keen to win a position in the South of Scotland economy.
The scale of the site and its availability means that 100 hectares of land is already available in NDA ownership, the Project will become one of only a handful of this size across Scotland and Northern England.