Firms being asked to invest millions to create an Eco-Disneyland on a former cement works site have been invited to talks today.

Power company bosses have been called to Auckland Castle, in Bishop Auckland, County Durham, to hear the latest redevelopment plants for the former Blue Circle site at Eastgate, Weardale.

Newcastle consultants PB Power has prepared a study for a task force led by regional development agency One NorthEast. This includes ideas for an energy theme park with a wind farm, hydro-electric power and underground "hot rocks" providing sustainable power.

Sue Dawson, head of economic development for Wear Valley District Council, said the support of the power companies was vital.

She disputed a claim from Weardale county councillor John Shuttleworth that PB Power's study and a site investigation had cost £56,000.

Councillor Shuttleworth said: "This is throwing good money after bad and not coming up with what Weardale people want, which is jobs."

But a One NorthEast spokesman said that plans to use the site for renewable energy had been a key suggestion made by local people during consultation last year.

The task force will study a report on today's seminar at its meeting on Wednesday.