South West partners welcome Nuclear Sector Deal with government

Partners have welcomed a £200m agreement between the nuclear industry and government which paves the way for major new investment and further job creation in the South West.

The government has set out the details of its Nuclear Sector Deal, which contains measures to unlock productivity and put the UK and the South West at the forefront of the industry worldwide.

It comes as partners in the South West promote £50bn worth of opportunities within the region to the global industry at the World Nuclear Exhibition in Paris this week.

Proposals announced by the Government are a strong vote of confidence in the nuclear industry to deliver on its growth ambitions and a ringing endorsement for the South West in particular,” said Matt Burley, chairman of the regional industry body Nuclear South West.

“Partners across the South West have worked closely with industry leaders and government to shape this deal. Now the sector must deliver. We have the talent, experience and knowledge in the South West to do just that and welcome the opportunity to get to work on the measures in this exciting and vitally important deal.

Measures announce in the sector deal include:

  • Unlocking growth opportunities in the nuclear supply chain through joint Government and industry support for smaller companies to access higher value contracts and new markets. This adds to the support already in operation in the south west through the Hinkley Supply Chain, which has seen thousands of companies register interest in opportunities connected with the new power station being built in Somerset.
  • Funding of £32m for a programme of research and development to support continued innovation in the sector. This work builds on the efforts of the South West Nuclear Hub and the University of Bristol to develop research and innovation that benefits the industry supply chain.
  • Further support for the development of nuclear clusters of expertise, which can help to develop the industry in regions like the South West.

The South West is ideally placed to capitalise on these opportunities, through its involvement in projects which include Europe’s largest construction project at Hinkley Point C nuclear power station and its extensive supply chain, alongside decommissioning activity across four other sites and a defence programme spanning from Devonport in Plymouth to Abbey Wood near Bristol.

Chair of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership Steve Hindley said: “The South West has an incredible opportunity to take a leading role in supporting the government’s plans to put the UK at the forefront of the global nuclear industry.

“We have £50bn worth of commercial opportunities to realise in this sector across the region; the partners have worked closely together to create this deal and stand ready to deliver.”