A MULTI-BILLION pound investment into additional defence spending has been welcomed by Copeland's MP.

Trudy Harrison said the £16.5bn announced by the Prime Minister on Thursday, which will bring the defence budget to £24.1bn over the next four years, was good news for the region.

It's a move than will help to protect 35,000 job in the North West, and is expected to create between 5,000 to 10,000 more jobs in the defence sector.

Mrs Harrison, said: "The biggest increase in defence and security spending for 30 years is more good news for Copeland.

"The military has a proud record of attracting personnel from Copeland serving across the forces, protecting our great nation.

“We also have so many brilliant businesses at the cutting edge of robotics and cyber, working across both defence and civilian industries. Our place in the world depends on the ability to defend the realm whilst also protecting the most vulnerable in countries which need our forces’ intervention, [the] announcement is good news on all those counts.”

The landmark investment will pave way for the creation of a new National Cyber Force and an Autonomy Development Centre to help accelerate the research, development, testing, integration and deployment of world-leading Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems.

It also means the UK will remain the second highest defence spender in NATO and will allow investments into cutting-edge, next-generation technology.

Paul Howarth, Chief Executive Officer of the National Nuclear Laboratory, said: “As a major science-based employer in West Cumbria, we welcome the announcement.

"Many underpinning technologies – such as robotics, digital, imaging, monitoring, advanced materials, cyber security, etc – are common to both the defence and nuclear sectors.

"So anything which helps to bring even more highly skilled jobs to the region, in areas such as these, can only be good news."