Energy & Low Carbon Industry | Featured | South West

Artist's impression of the twin Hinkley Point C reactorsDespite unexpected delays, Hinkley Point C – the first new nuclear power plant to be built for 20 years – has been given the green light as Government approves nuclear deal with EDF and China.

Business leaders share their thoughts on Hinkley Point and the impact it will have on the local region.

Phil Smith, Managing Director of Business West:

“We are delighted that the Government has heeded our calls to make a decision quickly and the outcome is the right one. The country needs new, stable, energy production and nuclear power should be part of an energy mix that also includes other low carbon solutions.

“This will be a great boost for businesses in the region, whether they are in the nuclear supply chain or not. There will be opportunities to join the industry by winning work on Hinkley Point C, and even businesses that aren’t related will see positive knock-on effects from the increased investment.”

Paul Matthews, head of Bruton Knowles Bristol office:

“Many businesses have been holding back on investment over the last few years waiting for this funding to drop into place. Hinkley C requires a big supply chain and there are sub-contractors that will now be able to look forward with confidence and start investing. The impact on the property market will be colossal over a wide area.

“In truth Hinkley C will have a major effect on offices, industrial, retail and hotel accommodation within 50 miles of the site. There will also be a need to provide an infrastructure for the thousands of people that will be involved.”

Matthew Cross, head of inward investment at Invest Bristol & Bath:
“Today’s announcement shines a spotlight on the strength of Bristol & Bath’s expertise in nuclear technology. The region already employs over 170 companies in the sector employing in excess of 27,000 people.

“As three of the four nuclear developers are already based in the region, we are already a centre of nuclear excellence. Even without Hinkley C, the region has the potential to benefit from up to £30bn worth of investment over the next 20 years, however, Hinkley C will reinforce this opportunity and will add an additional £18bn worth of investment potential.”

Colin Badcock, General Manager, DoubleTree by Hilton, Cadbury House:

“News on the development of Hinkley Point should be broadly welcomed and now that a decision has been taken the region and country knows that it is going to happen.

“This will allow venues like Cadbury House gear up for what will hopefully be an influx of contractors, workers and management looking for accommodation and meeting facilities to help oversee the smooth running of the project.

“Attracting a worldwide spotlight it’s also important that the region demonstrates it is capable of looking after people from across the globe.”

Simon Harvey, Industrial partner of Hartnell Taylor Cook LLP:

“The commercial market in Bridgwater and the surrounding area has a been preparing itself for the start of work on the scheme, but with so many delays no one was prepared to commit and it is now going to be like setting off the starting gun at the start of a race as companies try to secure themselves the best accommodation, but they may be disappointed with availability limited and therefore forced to widen their area of search.

Locations such as Weston Super Mare and Severnside will provide the solution and easily accessed along the motorway.”

Stephen Robertson, Chair of the West of England LEP and a partner in Nuclear South West:

“This is tremendous news for jobs and skills. The £18billion investment is set to create 25,000 new jobs and consolidate our position as the UK’s leading area for the nuclear sector. We have been working with local partners to gear up the supply chain to maximise opportunities for as many people and business as possible.

“Hinkley Point C marks only the beginning of a rolling programme of investment in nuclear power in the south west, this includes Oldbury, South Gloucestershire, once again showing that the West of England really is the home of knowledge, innovation and quality of life.”

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