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Nuclear renaissance boosts British businesses

Posted: 15/3/12

The UK is benefitting from a nuclear renaissance thanks to investment in power plants across the country, from Hinkley Point in Somerset to potential new nuclear sites in Suffolk and Anglesey.

Expected to generate billions of pounds of investment over the next decade, the Hinkley Point C development firmly places Somerset on the map as nothing of this scale has been built in the UK for thirty years. The nuclear new build will be looked upon globally as a blueprint for how nuclear power plants will be built in the future.

The site preparation works, which were awarded to Kier BAM in December 2011, will prepare the site for the main construction work. Kier BAM’s contract has created in the region of 350 jobs and includes excavation, earthworks, terracing, the installation of construction site infrastructure and the formation of roads and networks to allow construction to begin.

Speaking at a recent nuclear industry event, Chris Langdon, from inward investment organisation Somerset 3D, said, “The Hinkley Point C project is a huge opportunity for the construction and engineering industries. It is the most significant investment in over a generation. Whilst Somerset businesses are working hard to bid for and win contracts, there is clearly a major opportunity for UK and international companies to come to Somerset to help build the first UK nuclear power station for nearly 30 years.

“Somerset 3D is particularly keen to talk to UK and international companies that want to win contracts themselves, so that we can help find local partner suppliers and encourage them to locate some or all of their operations in Somerset – and not just for the duration of the build at Hinkley Point C, but thereafter as the UK nuclear new build activity ramps up. Somerset is well connected and presents an excellent business case for some significant strategic decisions by skilled construction and engineering companies.”

Langdon also addressed the conference regarding the wide range of industries that are thriving in Somerset. “There are over 31,200 manufacturing jobs in the county, with 9,000 in the advanced engineering sector alone. Somerset has a long history and a great track record in highly skilled manufacture and engineering. Provision for skills training in Somerset has recently been boosted by a multi million pound investment by EDF Energy in developing a brand new Energy Skills Centre in conjunction with Bridgwater College, which is the South West hub for The National Skills Academy for Nuclear. Bridgwater College itself is ranked in the top 5 per cent of UK colleges and there are also three universities within 60 minutes travel time.”

To register your interest or to find out more, contact Somerset 3D and the Hinkley Supply Chain Team on 0845 1222 066. Further information can also be found on www.somerset3d.co.uk and www.hinkleysupplychain.co.uk.

Somerset 3D offers a tailored business relocation service, giving advice and information to facilitate the process. To find out more about the many varied opportunities that Somerset can offer, or for advice and guidance on setting up a business in Somerset call on 0845 1222 066 or visit www.somerset3d.co.uk.