Budget proposes £1.7billion funding for nuclear project - which could be Sizewell C

The budget has revealed potential funding for Sizewell C

The budget has revealed potential funding for Sizewell C - Credit: Paul Geater

The Government has announced it will provide up to £1.7billion of direct funding for nuclear in its Budget while highlighting its negotiations over Sizewell C. 

A final decision over the proposed nuclear power station for Suffolk is expected next year. 

In Government material about the 2021 Budget plans, direct references are made to the proposed project. 

"Up to £1.7 billion of direct government funding to enable a large-scale nuclear project to reach a final investment decision this parliament, subject to value for money and approvals," it said. 

"The government is in active negotiations with EDF over the Sizewell C project."

The announcement comes just a day after the Government said it would be looking at adding a new levy on electricity bills, known as RAB (regulated asset base) to help encourage investment in the power station. 

The Government is looking at new funding for nuclear projects

The Government is looking at new funding for nuclear projects - Credit: Paul Geater

EDF described the plans as a "huge step forward" while campaigners called it "desperate". 

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Alison Downes of Stop Sizewell C said she was concerned at the plans which could see more taxpayer money go on the project.

"Not content with proposing a tax on consumer bills to build Sizewell C, the government now plans to throw £1.7 billion of taxpayers' money at a white elephant that may not even work. But £1.7 billion barely makes a dent in Sizewell C's massive £20 billion cost," she said. 

Alison Downes of Stop Sizewell C

Alison Downes from Stop Sizewell C said the funding would barely make a dent in the cost of Sizewell C - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

"Given that UK pension funds are not exactly queuing up to invest in Sizewell C, the government should build back greener, faster and show true global leadership by aiming for 100% renewables with a flexible grid backed by storage and energy efficiency."

EDF declined to comment on the new proposals. 

On Tuesday it welcomed the plans for RAB and what it would mean for the project. 

A spokesman for Sizewell C said: “This legislation is a big step forward and will allow us to fund Sizewell C so that it delivers reliable low carbon nuclear power at a lower cost to consumers.

"With the appropriate consents in place, Sizewell C will be ready to begin construction in this Parliament. It is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create thousands of jobs and training opportunities in East Suffolk."