As the UK looks towards a ‘new normal’, pre-pandemic priorities are coming to the fore once more.
Job creation will be more important than ever as the country deals with the economic fallout of Covid-19, while renewable energy will continue to be key to environmental goals.
A group of 32 major organisations and businesses recently called on the government to back the proposed Sizewell C nuclear power station, as the development can play a major role in supporting both objectives.
And now, more than 1,600 companies have registered interest in supplying the development.
“Ready to go”
The Sizewell C plant is expected to deliver a total of 25,000 jobs and opportunities for 1,000 apprenticeships, with up to 70% of contracts going to British-based businesses.
It is designed to operate for 60 years and will generate power for six million homes.
The Sizewell C Consortium includes the trade unions GMB, Prospect and Unite, which issued a joint statement highlighting the role nuclear power can play in meeting the UK’s aim of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
“If the government is serious about levelling up the regions and meeting net zero then it needs to support Sizewell C and the nuclear supply chain,” the organisations said. “There are few infrastructure projects of this scale that are ready to go and which can provide an immediate post-Covid-19 boost for jobs locally and nationally.”
A much-needed economic boost
Of the 1,600 companies that have registered interest, around 1,400 are based in the region of the Suffolk site.
The project’s supply chain director, Graeme Bellingham, says potential suppliers will be assessed in terms of carbon footprint, which gives local firms an advantage.
He told the East Anglian Daily Times this will not only provide value for the project, but also a much-needed economic boost as a nationwide recession takes hold.
“This could be a key part of building back Britain,” he said. “I believe that Sizewell C is great for Suffolk, great for the region, great for the UK.”
A final decision on Sizewell C, the plans for which are a near replica of Hinkley Point C, is not expected until 2022, although it could come sooner.