Business chief hits out at Hinkley delay

phil-smithA leading figure in the south west business community has shared his views on the Hinkley Point delays.

Phil Smith, Managing Director of Business West, has come on record saying:

“We simply cannot underestimate the importance that the South West places on an early decision by the new Prime Minister on the future of EDF’s Hinkley Point C project. That decision, we are promised, will come next month and I make no political point in saying that many companies in this region are hoping that the government’s review of the project will now result in a positive go ahead for Hinkley.

“Business West recognises that Hinkley offers massive opportunities for this region in terms of skills, jobs and inward investment.  We are concerned that delay will have a ripple effect on existing and potential West Country supply chains for this massive construction project and be a blow to our economy; an economy that post Brexit sorely needs such confidence boosting high profile investments.

“Our final concern revolves around UK energy supply security. UK business needs to know the lights won’t go out and finding low carbon, base energy sources that don’t rely on the wind blowing or sun shining is an essential part of the energy mix.  New nuclear fits this bill.

“We believe that the decision on Hinkley should be one of the new Prime Minister’s highest priorities when she returns from holiday.  While we do understand she needs to review the project’s costs and complexity, she must also see Hinkley as a major infrastructure project for Britain—it will, of course, be the largest building project in Europe.

“The government must also realise that the South West is a region that has too often been ignored by Whitehall.  We have world class companies here who will wish to play their part in the development of Hinkley.”