Giant step forward after EU chiefs approve Hinkley C deal

Somerset County Council welcomes the news that the European Commission has approved a giant next step on the road to the development of a new Hinkley Point power station.

EU chiefs have ruled that the UK government’s commercial agreement with EDF Energy on the £16billion nuclear project – the biggest in Europe – is legally sound under state aid rules laid out by the EU.

It marks another milestone in French energy giant EDF Energy’s plans to build a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point.

Leader of Somerset County Council, Cllr John Osman, said: “This is great news and a giant step forward.

“The Hinkley C development will transform our county’s economy in years to come, and having this high-profile development on our doorstep confirms Somerset as a serious destination for business growth in Britain.”

Councillor David Hall, Cabinet Member for Business and Inwards Investment, added: “This is a major milestone in the Hinkley C Project. It is also fantastically exciting news for Somerset.

“We now anticipate that once EDF Energy has reached its final agreement with its investment partners, our communities will be set to benefit hugely from the creation of jobs and millions of pounds-worth of investment in our infrastructure.

“We hope this is the positive news and encouragement businesses have been looking for to become more involved in the supply chain.”

Somerset County Council, along with other local authorities in Somerset, will continue to work with EDF Energy and the UK Government to ensure the impacts of the development are mitigated, and to maximise the benefits of this development for Somerset.

The European Commission’s decision comes after the Department for Transport announced an almost £3million investment for infrastructure in Bridgwater and Taunton. It forms part of the bigger picture of the future infrastructure network needed to support the Hinkley development.

Work is also already underway on Somerset County Council’s Low Carbon Energy Innovation and Collaboration Centre at Woodlands Business Park in Bridgwater.

When complete, the Centre will support local businesses and encourage new investors to work together on projects during the construction of Hinkley Point C and beyond.

Notes to editors
• Thousands of workers will be recruited to build Hinkley Point C, with an estimated 900 jobs expected to be created once construction is complete.

• State aid rules relate to the amount of support a government gives a company and whether this would cause it to gain advantage over its competitors. The European Commission has found revised UK plans to subsidise the construction and operation of a new nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset to be in line with EU state aid rules.