Somerset County Council Scrutiny Committee wowed by progress at Hinkley Point C

The construction of Hinkley Point C nuclear power station has been described as the biggest boost to the economy of the area for a generation.

Progress on the site has been praised by SCC’s Scrutiny Committee for Place; a group made up of councillors and senior officers who recently visited the site.

Councillor Ann Bown, County Councillor for Bridgwater West and Vice Chair of SCC’s Scrutiny Committee, Place said: “Of course we know about the development of the new nuclear power station on our doorstep, but it isn’t until you actually set foot on the site you get a real feel for the scale of it all and how much progress is being made.

“With more than 4,000 people already working here, and more to come, this is the biggest boost to the economy of the region for a generation.”

Councillors and officers were taken on a tour of the site, seeing for themselves the engineering project in construction and learning the positive impact the project has had on jobs and the legacy that EDF Energy and partners in local authorities are working hard to create.

David Eccles, Head of Stakeholder Engagement for Hinkley Point C, told the group: “The project successfully completed the base for the first reactor in June 2019, known as ‘J-zero’ and was a real achievement and landmark moment for the project.”

He also told the group: “HPC has seen over 450 apprentices work on the project, with further recruitment expected throughout 2019.”

When Hinkley Point C is finally completed it will provide low carbon energy for up to six million homes.  Construction is just over three years into a ten-year schedule.

Michele Cusack, Director Economic and Community Infrastructure Commissioning at Somerset County Council said: “It was hugely impressive, seeing the scale of the project and the progress that has already been made on what is Europe’s biggest building site.

“The project has increased local employment, in turn helping to develop a sustainable regional supply chain. Nuclear is part of a low carbon mix for new electricity generation in the UK and in Somerset we are leading the way with new technology.”