"Powering the UK's Nuclear Future" - Nuclear South West conference

On Tuesday, close to 100 people from businesses from all aspects of the nuclear industry gathered in Bristol to hear about opportunities in and support for the nuclear industry in the South West.

Photo by  Jon Craig

Photo by Jon Craig

Kicked off by a key note from Tom Greatrex, Chief Executive of the Nuclear Industry Association, the event included speakers from EDF Energy, the Ministry of Defence, James Fisher Nuclear, Costain, Hydrock, Waldeck Consulting, Somerset County Council and Local Enterprise Partnership, National College for Nuclear, Bridgwater and Taunton College, Hinkley Supply Chain Team, APEC, Women in Nuclear and South West Nuclear Hub. 

See list of presentations below. 


Nuclear South West Cluster has international launch at the World Nuclear Exhibition in Paris

Nuclear South West partners, including delegates from the Heart of the South West, West of England and Gfirst Local Enterprise Partnerships, Somerset and Sedgemoor Councils, SWMAS, Hinkley Supply Chain Team, the Nuclear Industry Network and the University of Bristol, attended the World Nuclear Exhibition (WNE) in Paris earlier this month.

WNE is the leading event for global nuclear business, attended by 10,000 visitors from every nation with a nuclear industry. The Nuclear South West delegation promoted the region’s extensive nuclear capability and commercial opportunities to potential inward investors and companies seeking South West partnerships and generated hundreds of leads to follow up to attract potential investment into the South West area.

Nuclear South West is a public/private partnership supporting the nuclear industry with innovation, skills and £50 billion of supply chain opportunities.

This is an established and growing industry cluster with the highest number of licensed sites in the UK, featuring over 180 thriving nuclear-related organisations. Industry, research institutions and training providers, local, regional and national government partners work collaboratively to maximise the sizeable and diverse new nuclear, decommissioning and defence opportunities over the next 20-years. The partnership focuses on stimulating skills programmes, R&D innovation and international trade and investment.

Julia Stuckey, Inward Investment Manager on behalf of Nuclear South West said: “The Nuclear South West presence within the WNE UK Pavilion, was the first promotion of the cluster on the international stage, and was extremely well-received by the industry.

“We generated over 600 contacts during the event, including from France, Japan, China, Korea and Spain, and will follow-up to encourage investment and reinforce the region’s supply-chain opportunities and nuclear expertise. Partners also had encouraging conversations with other international clusters; an effective method of forming business relationships to encourage trade and investment activity”.

Jamie Townes, South West Nuclear Hub Engagement Manager at the University of Bristol said: “The size and scale of participation at the WNE reminded us that there is a strong international interest in nuclear as part of the future’s secure and sustainable energy mix.

“We made some important connections in Paris, with potential partners from around the world who are keen, through the South West Nuclear Hub, to access the significant capability in the region for science, engineering and innovation, and apply it to today’s nuclear generation and decommissioning, and to the design and application of the nuclear energy systems of tomorrow”.

David Howorth, Business Development Director at Jordan Manufacturing Limited, which specialises in bespoke fabrications for the nuclear industry (both new build and decommissioning), was also part of the Nuclear South West team. David said: “We found the event very worthwhile – meeting people that we would not otherwise have the opportunity to see simply by being on the Nuclear South West stand. We have a number of promising contacts to follow up”.

Steve Hindley, Chair of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership said: “The South West is the UK’s leading region in the global nuclear renaissance and WNE enabled us to take this message to the key players in the international nuclear industry.

“We’re reassured to hear that the recent Brexit result doesn’t affect the Hinkley Point C investment by EDF – which will generate 25,000 new jobs and £18bn investment. And we’re always keen to add that there’s a wealth of nuclear opportunities, which, added to the Hinkley investment, total around £50bn, in sectors such as defence, decommissioning and new build.

“The Nuclear South West partnership did a great job promoting our area and I look forward to seeing the follow up in this new cross- LEP partnership with industry, education and business consortia."

The National College for Nuclear was also launched during WNE, at a well-attended reception event. The South West hub of the College will open in 2017, to enhance the highly-skilled, technical workforce trained in the behaviours, expectations and culture of the nuclear sector.

WNE is part of Nuclear South West’s ongoing activity to establish and promote the South West on the global arena as a leading region for the nuclear sector. It is followed today by a Parliamentary reception at Westminster to showcase the industry amongst key Ministers and MPs. The full press release on “The South West – Powering the UK’s Nuclear Future” is available here


South West to showcase the UK’s £50 billion nuclear opportunity in Westminster

£50 billion worth of business opportunities are up-for-grabs for firms who can provide services for the nuclear industry in the south west. And on Monday 11th July 2016, businesses and representatives from the Government will be able to find out more about how they can play their part at a special event in Westminster.

Taking place in the House of Commons, the event: “The South West - Powering the UK's Nuclear Future” is being hosted by Bridgwater MP Ian Liddell-Grainger, in whose constituency Hinkley Point C is situated. It features high profile speakers Tom Greatrex, former Shadow Energy Minister and now chief executive of the Nuclear Industry Association, Andrea Leadsom MP, Minister of State for Energy, and Matt Burley, chair of Nuclear South West.

The event aims to bring together parliamentarians and south west nuclear industry leaders to set out the economic potential the region has to support the UK energy sector and ensure the Government recognises the unique opportunities that exist in the south west.

Nuclear South West is capitalising on the South West’s unparalleled strength and potential in the global nuclear industry; and generating transformational economic benefits to the UK and regional business community. The facts and figures are:

  • There will be at least £50billion worth of contracts available to south west companies across 15 projects over the next 20 years in new build, decommissioning and defence.
  • There are over 180 nuclear companies and organisations in the area, with over 8,000 highly skilled workers;
  • 70% of the UK’s low carbon electricity comes from nuclear power stations; and two new ones are being built at Hinkley Point - creating 25,000 new jobs and £100m to the local economy;
  • There’s a £1.8bn nuclear defence programme at Devonport in Plymouth; and 44 colleges and training providers are working with Hinkley Point Training Agency.

Matt Burley, Chair of Nuclear South West said: “The future of the nuclear industry in the south west and the scale of financial opportunity that could be unlocked for businesses of different sizes and sectors is enormous.

“We’re working hard to raise awareness and understanding of this opportunity across the region. Businesses are in a fantastic position to take advantage of the national and international nuclear programmes. There are many different services required to support the industry, from equipment suppliers to waste management, and nuclear research facilities to specialist consultancies.”

Ian Liddell-Grainger MP said: “The South West is a global contender in the nuclear energy sector and it offers the potential to create tens of thousands of new jobs and generate billions of pounds for the local and national economy. MPs in our region are committed to supporting and championing the sector. It’s great to see nuclear industry businesses bringing the South West opportunity to Westminster and working with Government to help create the right conditions for growth in the sector – there’s never been a more important time to do this.”

Steve Hindley, Chair of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership said: “The South West is the UK’s leading region in the global nuclear renaissance.

“We’re at the ready to claim first-mover advantage in the UK’s nuclear sector, due to the next generation of power stations being started right here at Hinkley Point C. It’s Europe’s largest engineering project, will generate 25,000 new jobs and £14billion investment.

“It’s not just about Hinkley though. There are 15 nuclear opportunities worth £50 billion in this area; so we’re very excited about our cross-LEP & business–led partnership under the banner of Nuclear South West. We urge our Right Honourable Members to join us in showcasing the South West’s unparalleled strength and potential for transformational growth; right here at the nucleus of the nuclear industry.”

West of England LEP chair, Stephen Robertson, said: “The south west is at the forefront of the UK nuclear industry and is leading the way with research and skills training.  With over 180 nuclear companies and organisations already in the south west the potential growth and innovation in this sector is huge.  Getting nuclear right in the south west will harness the supply chain potential for local companies of all sizes across the south west.”

Dr Diane Savory OBE, Chair of GFirst LEP, said: “The nuclear-based power generation industry has long been a feature of the Gloucestershire economy and we must ensure that the skills infrastructure supports the growth in the economy, by future proofing and meeting the skills needs of businesses affected by workforce displacement to the demands of the nuclear industry.

“Funds from our Growth Deal have been invested in a Gloucestershire centre of excellence in Renewable Energy, Engineering & Nuclear skills (GREEN) in anticipation of the unprecedented expansion of nuclear, low carbon energy, and engineering in Gloucestershire and the South West. The centre will open in September 2017.”

Nuclear South West (NSW) is a partnership between the nuclear industry network in the south west and the stakeholder alliance of the Local Enterprise Partnerships: Heart of the South West, West of England and GFirst; the academic and skills sector and business support agencies.