Coastal developments and Copeland's nuclear future were on the agenda as a government minister visited the area.

Jake Berry, the minister for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth, came to Whitehaven yesterday to meet MP Trudy Harrison and view ongoing work to redevelop the town's Old New Quay.

The £320,000 scheme, which sees £272,000 come from the government's Coastal Communities Fund, involves the demolition of the former Sea Cadets building, and the installation of contemporary seating.

Mr Berry also met with Britain's Energy Coast chief executive Michael Pemberton to discuss town centre developments in Whitehaven before attending a meeting with members of the nuclear supply chain.

He said: "The government since 2015 has committed £1.7 million to coastal community funding.

"I wanted to come here to see the fantastic development at Old New Quay, opening for the first time in over 70 years to the public, and have a chat with the local MP about reopening our coastal facilities and what further exciting things we can do for the town."

The quay was closed in 1941 and has never been re-opened. It is hoped the redevelopment is finished in December.

Mr Berry met with harbour commissioners, including chairwoman Madonna Adams, and also discussed a potential second phase of the development, with plans including a Coastal Activity Centre.

"This is a real example of how a relatively small government investment has gone a long way," he said. "New bids for the coastal fund open in January and I'm here with Trudy to see if we can get a really exciting bid coming forward from Whitehaven."

Mrs Harrison said: "The port of Whitehaven has such a historical importance and it is right and proper it is getting this investment.

"This is essential infrastructure which will then enable further facilities, particularly around the tourism industry, to support our economy."

She said the meeting with BEC, which is hoping to transform Whitehaven's former bus depot site and the derelict bus station opposite into offices, a hotel and leisure and residential spaces, was to "learn about new projects happening in the area".

The supply chain meeting allowed Mr Berry to meet with nuclear industry representatives.

He said: "We are talking about how Cumbria, Whitehaven and Copeland, the true north, people at the heart of the northern powerhouse is absolutely vital.

"We are talking about the government's commitment to continue with the nuclear industry in this area. It is absolutely vital for Cumbria, which is putting the power into the northern powerhouse to know it has government support.

"It isn't just about tourism, it's ensuring this town remains at the heart of Cumbria's nuclear industry, which has an extremely bright future and is of vital importance to the northern powerhouse."