Around 100 people gathered in Ipswich for the largest Sizewell C Forum of the year to catch up with the nuclear project’s progress to date. 

The public event at Trinity Park heard from key members of the Sizewell C team - including joint managing director Julia Pyke and site delivery director Damian Leydon.

The site has already passed two major milestones - the start of the construction phase of the new nuclear build, and buying the land on which the power station will be built.

Bulk earthworks will start soon, the audience heard.

More than 140 town and parish councils were invited from across East Suffolk to the inaugural annual event, which was attended by the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), the Environment Agency, Suffolk Association Local Councils, Suffolk County Council and East Suffolk Council.

Suffolk Community Foundation chief executive Melanie Craig gave an update on the £23m Sizewell C Community Fund, which is supporting community projects across the construction phase. It will begin inviting applications later this year.    

“Sizewell C is a project of national importance – it’s going to provide low-carbon power for six million homes for at least 60 years," said Ms Pyke.

"East Suffolk is the project’s home, our host community, and it’s really important to us that we hold these forums so we can continue to listen to local voices throughout the entire construction period.

"By doing so, we can make the many benefits of the project more accessible, and we can remain on top of the impacts we’re having locally and take action to minimise them.”    

Sizewell C Forum is the largest open forum held by Sizewell C and provides information on the project as a whole.

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Others are the Main Development Site Forum, Northern Transport Forum, and the Southern Transport Forum  which run four times a year and discuss separate aspects of the project.

Sizewell C Forum chair Christine Abraham said it was "pleasing" to see so many communities and organisations represented at the inaugural annual meeting.   

“My role as independent chair is to ensure that the representatives attending the meeting are kept informed with the developments and progress of Sizewell C, while enabling and facilitating, questions and discussions around the issues that really matter to local people and organisations," she said.

"The aim of all the forums is to ensure that communities benefit from the many opportunities, that any impacts are minimised, and the project is held to account on its work.” 

Sizewell C expects £125m to be spent in the local community each year during construction and around 2,600 workers to come from the local area at peak construction.

Once operational, the power plant is set to employ 900 people.