Hinkley Point C set to boost the South West economy by almost £4 billion

EDF Energy has issued an updated analysis of the economic and social benefits of Hinkley Point C. The study reveals that the South West economy is set to be boosted by almost £4 billion over the life of the project to build the UK’s first new nuclear power station in a generation.

During the building of the power station the gross value to the regional economy will be over £200 million for each year of core construction (up from an initial estimate of £100m).

EDF Energy has announced that South West firms have been successful in a competitive process to provide services to the proposed Hinkley Point C power station in contracts worth over £465 million. These contracts alone will create 650 local jobs.

Services set to be provided by local companies include catering at the construction site, bussing of the workforce and accommodation management, as well as site utilities and infrastructure. Such contracts are subject to the project being given final approval to proceed.

Hinkley Point C has transformed the way a major infrastructure project can build a local supply chain.

Local companies have been encouraged to band together in creating new supplier alliances and to gain the qualifications and capacity to bid for work. Joining forces has been a key strategy behind the success of South West firms in order to leverage scale and expertise, with the backing and support of Somerset Chamber of Commerce.

Ken Owen, EDF Energy’s Commercial Director for the project, said: “Instead of taking the usual route of only approaching national companies we took a decision to help local businesses step up to the challenge of supplying such a major construction project. We’ve been delighted with the response.

“Our innovative approach, working closely with Somerset Chamber of Commerce, has resulted in local companies winning business by matching our demand for safety, quality, value and scale. It has been hard work on both sides, but so worth the extra effort.”

For the South West, the project represents a transformational opportunity for local companies as well as for job creation. Benefit to the regional economy is now calculated at £200m a year during core construction.

More than 3000 Somerset and South West businesses have already registered their interest on the project’s supplier database.

Towns and cities across the South West stand to benefit, including the bases of companies already awarded contracts in Bristol, Taunton, Bath, Exeter, Bridgwater, Chippenham, Glastonbury, Bideford, Weston-Super-Mare and Yeovil.

The scale of the project is impressive, with construction workers set to spend around £8 million a year on meals from local catering supplier, Somerset Larder. Serving the 8,000 meals per day needed at peak construction will take 1.5 million eggs and half a million kilos of meat, fish and vegetables annually. The workforce bussing contract is set to manage the anticipated 5,000+ daily passenger return journeys to and from the construction site, while the accommodation management contract will service the 1,500-bed workers’ accommodation campuses.

South West companies with combined contract values of more than £465m include:

  • Somerset Larder, six Somerset food producers – catering for the workforce at the HPC site and associated developments
  • HOST, comprising four Somerset companies – managing the workers’ campus accommodation
  • Somerset Passenger Solutions, two Somerset companies – operating and managing a bus service to transport workers to and from site
  • Somerset Infrastructure Alliance, three South West companies – maintenance of the temporary construction and permanent roads, networks and other infrastructure
  • COMA, five South West businesses – maintenance and modification of the site-wide temporary utilities, including electrical, water and waste networks and support services
  • FACE, three Somerset companies and one from London – reprographics, print, design and stationery
  • TCi (GB), Bideford – supply of office furniture, fittings and equipment
  • M&W Group, Chippenham – HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning) for buildings on site

The Hinkley Point C project has also opened new offices in Bristol, with some 750 employees due to be based at the Delivery Command Centre in the city’s Finzels Reach area from next month. Together with EDF Energy’s supply chain partners, a total of around 1,500 highly skilled, well-paid jobs will be attracted to the Bristol area, worth around £120m a year during construction. This investment will be worth over £1 billion in wages alone over the life of the project.