The deal to build a new nuclear power station at Bradwell is the “most exciting thing that has happened in the district” in more than 20 years, according to MP John Whittingdale.

Mr Whittingdale, a longterm supporter of a replacement to Bradwell, which began decommissioning in 2002, said he was convinced the local economy would benefit , despite the fact the plant will be Chinese-led.

He said: “I’m very pleased that in principle an agreement has been signed to proceed with the possible development of a power station at Bradwell.

“I’m a strong supporter of nuclear power.

"I’m convinced for security reasons - for supply and maintaining our needs for the future - nuclear power is the way we should be going.

“Bradwell has a long history of having a power station, which has a lot of support locally.

“It will create a lot of jobs, not just directly but through more money in the economy."