FIRST MINISTER Nicola Sturgeon has been pressed by North Ayrshire politicians to form a task force to oversee the proposed development of Hunterston power station.

West Scotland Labour MSP Katy Clark and North Ayrshire SNP MP Patricia Gibson are calling on the First Minister to think about the future transition of the now closed nuclear site.

Hunterston B Nuclear Station shut down for good this month after 46 years of service.

The adjacent land is owned by Peel Ports, and is earmarked for major renewables and energy infrastructure projects.

In September, Peel published a draft development framework for the 320-acre area, which is one of Scotland’s largest brownfield sites and currently its largest deepwater port.

Speaking in the Scottish Parliament, Katy Clark MSP argued that such a group was needed to ensure “good quality, trade unionised green jobs are created”, and also pointed to the Scottish Government’s environmental commitments, as Hunterston encompasses a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Ms Sturgeon responded that whilst it was “right that these plans are driven by local councils and local agencies” she also said she would “give consideration to the wider point”.

Katy Clark commented: “I hope the Scottish Government give strong consideration to this proposal given Hunterston is a strategic site of national importance.

“The decommissioning of Hunterston B power station means it is vital we move rapidly to ensure new green jobs, that serve the local community, are created.

“A ministerial task force would ensure workers and communities are part of that process.

"It would also allow a range of stakeholders to look very closely at the environmental impact of any proposals in what is a very biodiverse area.”

Patricia Gibson MP added: “I look forward to hearing directly from the First Minister on this issue.

“The closure of Hunterston B is the end of an era for North Ayrshire. Regardless of one’s view of nuclear power.

“Jobs have been lost with many more to follow over the next eight years as the plant defuels and is then decommissioned.

“A just transition to new green energy generation at this prime location must now be taken forward with a renewed sense of urgency.

“Significant investment is already being considered in terms of cable manufacturing for the transportation of solar energy.”

The North Ayrshire MP added: “Efforts must be redoubled to attract and consider further potential job-creating investors in the weeks and months ahead.”