Ed Miliband has confirmed that Labour will look at extending the life of Hartlepool power station if they are elected.

He made it clear that it was not a decision that was up to politicians but that if it was safe to do so they would be happy to extend the use of the station.

The power station has already had two life extensions from EDF initially to 2024 and currently until early 2026.

If the lifetime of the station is extended it will save more than 700 jobs and secure a key part of the local economy.

During his visit to Hartlepool he toured the facility with Labour candidate for the town Jonathan Brash.

Despite the base for GB Energy being in Scotland, Mr Miliband made it clear that a £3bn would be going towards regional projects like nuclear power in Hartlepool.

The Northern Echo: Ed Miliband in Hartlepool

Mr Miliband said: "I can guarantee you that GB Energy will be doing clean power projects across the country.

"Of the £8bn, we have allocated £3bn for local power projects which are basically working with local authorities or combined authorities to deliver clean energy which will cut bills.

"We will look to invest in new nuclear which there is great potential for here in Hartlepool."

Jonathan Brash added: "Extending the life of the power plant is one part of our plan.

"Again, it has got to be safety first but if it can be extended that is extremely important for our local economy.

"Beyond that it is about getting new nuclear here.

"We have a perfect site in the heart of an industrial cluster. If we can get SMR and AMR technology into Hartlepool we can have a long term future economically.

"We can make Hartlepool the epicentre of the industrial revolution which is happening right around the world right now."

Mr Miliband described a number of ways a new Labour government would try to train up a workforce for green energy in the North East.

He said: "There's lots of things we need to do.

Firstly, we need the apprenticeship levy to be more flexible so people can transition from one job to another much more easily and they can have the training they need.

"Secondly, we need to inspire more young people about the next generation of jobs and that's what a Labour government will do.

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"Thirdly, we need to plan for those skills because at the moment there isn't planning going on.

"One of the things we will do is have a proper audit of the skills needs that we have for these clean energy jobs and where we are going to provide them.

"We will work with local authorities to make sure they are providing the courses to train the young people to make that happen."