A former Cabinet minister has been appointed as the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s social value specialist.

Hazel Blears will provide advice to the whole of the NDA group on how to increase the social, economic and environmental impact of its work to decommission and clean up the UK’s oldest nuclear sites.

She is a nationally recognised expert in this field and is chairman of the Social Investment Business and a trustee of the Social Mobility Foundation. Ms Blears is also a former cabinet minister and, during her time as an MP, was one of the authors of the Social Value Act.

The NDA group has 17 sites across the UK, including Sellafield - the world’s most complex nuclear site. The NDA group employs 16,000 people across 10 separate businesses and manages an annual budget of over £3 billion.

The NDA group is a significant local employer in West Cumbria, Caithness and North West Wales, and Ms Blears’ work will focus on these regions in particular.

In her new role at the NDA, she will look at: maximising social value and impact across all of the NDA’s sites, businesses and operations; creating social value from how the NDA procures goods and services; improving the NDA’s Socio-Economic Strategy; measuring social value and impact to help ensure a sustainable long-term benefit.

She said: “Since moving to Cumbria four years ago I have seen for myself the pivotal role that the NDA plays in the local and national economy. As well as undertaking a vital mission for the country, the nuclear industry is a key driver of employment and prosperity.

"I welcome this opportunity to help the NDA ensure that its decisions about how it conducts its business are fully informed by the additional impact it can make by maximising its social value. I would also like to pay tribute to the ground-breaking work done in West Cumbria over many years by Professor John Fyfe, which laid the foundations for social value and responsible business.

"I am delighted to be able to continue his commitment to the local communities where the NDA operates.”