The proposed £18billion investment in the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plants in Somerset offers an exceptional opportunity for businesses to be part of the new nuclear renaissance.
Somerset is at the very heart of the new nuclear industry, benefiting from an existing nuclear supply chain that encompasses generations of expertise. This is supported by a dynamic advanced engineering sector, which boasts a large number of world-leading companies, ensuring that an established network of professional expertise and technical know-how is readily available.
As the first new nuclear power station to be built in the UK for 20 years, it is likely that the businesses behind Hinkley Point C on the coast of Somerset will be in an extremely strong position to grow along with the demand for domestic and international nuclear power.
When it goes ahead, Hinkley Point C will be Somerset’s biggest construction project in decades, providing an expected 25,000 jobs during the construction phase, with around 5,600 people working on the site during the peak construction period and many more in the supply chain off-site. Up to 1,000 new specialist nuclear jobs will be required for the 60 year life span of the two nuclear reactors.
The Somerset local authorities, particularly Somerset County Council, Sedgemoor District Council and West Somerset Council, are working closely with EDF Energy to develop a robust local supply chain that will support the multi-billion pound investment in Hinkley Point. The supply chain is managed on behalf of EDF, and partners, by the Somerset Chamber of Commerce. Businesses need to register on the supply chain to be kept abreast of all the potential developments and the scope for your business to play its part.
NUCLEAR SOUTH WEST
Somerset County Council and the 5 Districts are partners in the Nuclear South West cluster.
There are two halves to Nuclear South West--private sector and key stakeholders--each undertaking specific activities to benefit the industry and the region.
The Industry Network is the nuclear industry membership platform for businesses in, or wishing to join, the nuclear industry supply chain. This forum is run by business, for business.The Stakeholder Alliance Group brings together a number of bodies who are working together to ensure that the region benefits from the investment that is set to be made over the coming decades
SOMERSET ENERGY INNOVATION CENTRE
A new Somerset Energy Innovation Centre has been opened close to Junction 23 on the M5 to provide the right environment for companies in the low carbon sector moving to Somerset, or looking to grow their existing in-county presence.
The Centre provides flexible office space, with parking and meeting rooms, whilst at the same time providing the scope for the businesses to collaborate and innovate together with Business support provided through the Centre’s management operator. The Centre will help grow the low carbon energy supply chain cluster for Somerset and the South West, and is well placed not only for the nuclear energy developments at Hinkley Point, but also for those businesses involved in the renewables sector.
In terms of training, Somerset is at the forefront of new developments and its Energy Skills Centre at Bridgwater College, The National Skills Academy for Nuclear, offers high-quality, professional training facilities in science, engineering and specialist construction. This Energy Skills Centre further increases the concentration of specialist nuclear expertise in the South West, reinforcing the region’s place at the forefront of nuclear development.
On top of all that, Somerset is extremely well-connected thanks to excellent road and rail links, as well as having a choice of international airports on the doorstep. Shipping via the Royal Portbury and Avonmouth Docks, one of the largest ports in Europe, allows large loads to dock within 30 miles of Hinkley Point.