09/09/2011 11:19 EDT | Updated 11/09/2011 05:12 EST

Nova Scotia to help maintain financially troubled mill's woodlands operation

PORT HAWKESBURY, N.S. - Nova Scotia will spend $15 million to help keep the woodlands operation at the NewPage mill in Cape Breton intact as the company struggles with a financial mess.

Premier Darrell Dexter outlined the plan today that he said will employ hundreds of woods workers and provide specialized training programs.

Dexter says the intention is to keep the NewPage mill ready for a potential resale.

He says the province's seven-point woodlands plan will also employ about 500 people in the Strait of Canso area.

In addition to maintaining woodlands, the province will look for a world market specialist to complete a study for newsprint and high-gloss paper, for which the plant has specialized equipment.

Meanwhile, NewPage is in court today in Halifax to seek protection from its creditors.

The mill wants the court to approve a settlement and transition agreement with its parent company, which is also seeking protection from creditors in the U.S.