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The business case for backing plans for Sizewell C

PUBLISHED: 14:33 28 March 2018 | UPDATED: 14:33 28 March 2018

John Dugmore, chief executive of Suffolk Chamer of Commerce.

John Dugmore, chief executive of Suffolk Chamer of Commerce.

John Dugmore, chief executive of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, outlines why the prospect of a new power station at Sizewell is good for the county’s business community.

Earlier this month, I attended a really interesting event at Westminster at which EDF Energy unveiled a report into the positive boost to the Somerset economy arising out of the building of Hinkley Point C power station.

We learnt both that £465m-worth of contracts had been awarded to firms in the region and that there had also been an impressive uptick in jobs going to local people.

Why am I so excited about Somerset? Because that county’s present could be Suffolk’s future.

Suffolk Chamber has a close working relationship with EDF Energy and our belief is clear: the nuclear industry is good for Suffolk and in particular good for businesses here in Suffolk. The nuclear industry is also an integral part of securing reliable energy supplies to UK businesses.

The headline figures are startling. It is estimated that 5,600 workers will be working on the site at the peak of the construction period, with 25,000 roles required overall.

Of course, that won’t be the end of the story since 900 permanent roles are likely to be needed once the station is producing energy, with a continuing demand for goods and services from local suppliers. It’s probably worth noting at this point that Sizewell B alone is worth £40m a year to the local economy.

In addition, a new power station in Suffolk will be a further boost to improving the county’s skills and aptitude base, so sharpening our competitive advantage and attractiveness to inward investment.

During the lifetime of Sizewell B, EDF Energy has been a welcome and consistent investor in skills and training of the local workforce. The station has also reliably delivered 3% of the UK’s electricity needs.

Suffolk Chamber is running Sizewell C Supply Chain website - www.sizewellcsupplychain.co.uk - on behalf of EDF Energy. The site aims to make it as easy as possible for local companies to register their interest in providing goods and services to this mightily important project and to keep up-to-date with Sizewell C Supply chain news.

Remember, 80% of the work in building and running a nuclear power station comes from “non-nuclear” businesses.

I’m delighted that over 1,100 companies from many sectors and of all sizes have registered on the site. I would urge every business in Suffolk who hasn’t yet done so, to think about the opportunities that Sizewell C presents to them and sign up to the supply chain website sooner rather than later. Sizewell C promises to be a business power house as well as a new power station.

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