Commenting on the final investment decision for Hinkley Point C by EDF, Dr Adam Marshall, BCC Acting Director General, said:
“Businesses across the UK will welcome the news that a major energy infrastructure project, critical to delivering energy security, is finally set to proceed.
“Significant investment in nuclear, renewables, gas and shale is urgently required to meet the needs of businesses and consumers, following the planned shutdown of older and dirtier power plants. While there will always be debate around the cost of major projects, the price of inaction is larger still.
“Major energy projects like Hinkley have hugely beneficial impacts on local economies, generating jobs, procurement opportunities and confidence long before the energy they provide begins to flow.
“Ministers should now do everything in their power to ensure that new schemes in North Wales, Cumbria, Suffolk and elsewhere also get the green light in the months ahead. The Autumn Statement should be used to 'crowd in' massive investment in energy generation and transmission, which has both present and future benefits to UK business and the wider economy.”
Dale Edwards, Chief Executive of Somerset Chamber of Commerce, added:
“The final investment decision by EDF Energy for the construction of Hinkley Point C is a significant and positive shot in the arm for the South West and South Wales economies. The anticipated £18billion investment over the next decade is likely to result in over £100million per year spent in the local economy, providing an important boost for economic growth and job creation.
“In addition, the project will bring long term opportunities as it will be looked upon as a blueprint for how nuclear power plants will be built in the future, delivering a legacy for Somerset, the South West and the United Kingdom as a whole.
“I am delighted that EDF and the Tier 1 contractors for this project have committed to proactively engage with businesses across the region. Opportunities and contracts have already been presented and awarded to companies in Somerset, Bristol, Devon, Dorset, Cornwall, Wiltshire and South Wales, with the aim of up to 80% of the total site services spend being awarded to Somerset based businesses and consortia.”
“The Hinkley Supply Chain consortium – which comprises the Somerset Chamber of Commerce, Business West and SWMAS – is aiming to maximise the potential of the Hinkley Point C development for the region’s businesses. The opportunity to build and create a meaningful legacy is a once-in-a-generation opening and I encourage businesses across the region to explore the benefit it can bring to them and their communities.”