Somerset County Council welcomes EDF Hinkley Point C decision

Somerset County Council has heralded EDF Energy’s decision to give its go ahead to the Hinkley Point C project.

The project would bring unprecedented investment and job creation to the county and the wider region. As the largest engineering project in Europe, the construction of the new power station is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to boost jobs and economic prosperity, and to generate thousands of training opportunities for local people.

EDF Energy’s board today voted in favour of progressing the project, making its long-awaited Final Investment Decision. The Government has said it will now consider the various different aspects of the project and make its decision in the early autumn.

The Council has been working with The Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership and other partners to attract investment projects that would maximise the legacy of Hinkley Point C.

This includes the new Somerset Energy Innovation Centre near Bridgwater, which was opened by the Council earlier this year to support local businesses and inward investors seeking to collaborate and exploit opportunities in the growing low carbon and nuclear energy sectors.

“Today’s decision by EDF is a very important one,” said Councillor John Osman, Leader of Somerset County Council. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for our businesses, young people and the county as a whole.”

Councillor David Hall, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Business and Inward Investment, said. “This announcement has been a long time coming, but considerable work has been happening behind the scenes.

“I look forward to the Government swiftly making its decision so that we can progress a project that would give an enormous boost to the level of confidence in our local, regional and national economy

“We will continue our positive and constructive relationship with EDF Energy and partners. I am also committed to ensuring that the impacts of this development are addressed and that businesses and communities can benefit from the investment in infrastructure, creation of jobs and skills and supply chain opportunities.”

“During its planned 60 year operating life, Hinkley Point C would bring around £40 million into the local economy every year,” he added. “And kick start the national nuclear renaissance and will be the catalyst for economic growth in Somerset and the wider South West region.”

Steve Hindley, Chair of the Heart of the South West LEP (HotSW LEP), said: “Hinkley Point C would transform our economy, creating 25,000 new jobs and generating £18bn investment. It’s the cornerstone of our Nuclear South West partnership in which we’re promoting the South West as the UK’s leading area for the nuclear sector with international profile.

“We are geared up to provide local packages of investment that will make sure we really maximise these opportunities for people and businesses in our area. The new Somerset Energy and Innovation Centre, the Hinkley Point Training Agency and the Hinkley Supply Chain for example – all part-funded through the HotSW LEP’s deals with Government – are key components of the thriving Nuclear South West cluster.

“This development would create a major step-change on our journey towards transformational growth, when we will really see the true value of the Heart of the South West in its role within the UK economy.”