Primary school pupils from Bridgwater have today (25 April) been leaving their mark on the landmark Somerset Energy Innovation Centre (SEIC).
The SEIC has been created to support businesses in the nuclear and low carbon energy supply chain and construction of its £6.5m second phase is well underway.
Today children from the Eco Team at nearby Westover Green Primary School visited the site and were able to sign their names on the streel frame of the three-storey building as part of an event to mark significant progress on the project.
With the help of Willmott Dixon, the building contractor responsible for Phase Two, the children will also be creating a bug hotel on the site as part of their learning about the environment and energy.
Phase Two is a major extension of the SEIC, adding an extra 2,000 square metres of floor space. This will include a dedicated area, Enterprise Hub@SEIC2, providing light industrial and office workspace to support small and medium enterprises from any sector.
Phase one of the building opened in February 2016 and is home to 40 businesses ranging from electrical engineers to facilities management. Phase 2 is scheduled to be completed by November this year.
Councillor David Hall, Cabinet Member for Resources and Economic Development, took part in a ceremonial bolt-tightening said: “This project is all about looking ahead and thinking about the future so it has been wonderful to see the local youngsters taking such an interest. Today they have left their mark on a project that I expect to be providing well-paid, skilled jobs long into the future, perhaps for some of these children.
“A thriving economy, jobs and prosperity are critical to the long-term future of the county and the success of the SEIC is already playing a part in that.”
Class teacher Paul Boucher who leads the Eco Team at Westover Green Primary, said: “We’re really keen that the children understand what’s going on in their local area to this visit is great and we’re looking forward to working on the bug hotel.
“It’s important that they learn about how energy is generated and how we use it so they can make informed decision when they are older.”
Willmott Dixon Operations Director, Rob Woolcock, Dixon added: ‘It was a great to be able to celebrate reaching this milestone in the build today.
“We know the Council have ambitious plans for the county; from housing to jobs, to health and education, they want to make sure that the county continues to grow and thrive, and at Willmott Dixon, we are pleased to be able to play our small part in helping the council’s vision become a reality.”
SEIC2 is being funded by the Heart of the South West Growth Deal Funding and Somerset County Council. The Enterprise Hub@SEIC2 is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (EDRF), and the Heart of the South West Local Growth Deal Funding.