Conference focuses on Sizewell C, the environment, jobs and education

Sizewell C Aldhurst Farm

Dr Steve Mannings, from the environment team at Sizewell C and managed the creation of Aldhurst Farm, Oliver Birkbeck Wild East, Hugh Somerleyton, Wild East, and Julia Pyke, Sizewell C - Credit: EDF Energy

Key figures will gather today to discuss the next stages in the proposals for the £20billion Sizewell C project - focussing on skills and education, and the environment.

A special conference is being held at Trinity Park to analyse progress made so far on a range of issues - and what more can be done in partnership with businesses, the education sector and others.

More than 200 business, education, independent organisation and environmental leaders from East Suffolk will meet today (Monday, November 22) to hear about plans to increase skills and biodiversity and boost the economy at the event, called ‘Sizewell C: Doing the power of good for East Suffolk’.

Hugh Somerleyton, founder of environmental charity, Wild East Foundation, will take part in a breakout session on ‘Protecting and Enhancing Sizewell’s Local Environment’ and will speak of the importance of industry and environment working together. 

CGI aerial view of the planned Sizewell C reactor

A CGI showing how Sizewell C could look - Credit: EDF/Sizewell C

Lord Somerleyton said: “There is an urgent need for a multi-sector alliance to restore contiguous landscapes and regional scale, to gradually return 20% of Wild East to nature and to promote regenerative practice throughout agriculture, food and energy production and in the manner of our everyday lives to ensure a restored and regenerative planet.” 

EDF - the company behind Sizewell C - has stressed its commitment to the environment and has been putting in place enhancement and mitigation measures ahead of any decision on the power project.

The Sizewell extended estate now includes an additional 250 hectares of land for wildlife, including Aldhurst Farm in Leiston and fen meadow habitat creation sites in Halesworth and Benhall.

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The company says the project’s work so far is yielding good results and the 67 hectare habitat at Aldhurst Farm reserve, a mosaic of wetland, heath and acid grassland, which includes five lagoons, has been colonised by rare marsh harriers, which also breed at RSPB Minsmere. 

Humphrey Cadoux Hudson, managing director, Sizewell C, said: “We recognise the importance of the AONB that we are working in and want to increase the biodiversity not just there but in other areas of east Suffolk so more people can enjoy nature and there is more room for greater biodiversity.”

Delegates will be told about new independent research which claims that CO2 emissions from new nuclear power projects will be even lower than wind and solar power. EDF insists that all three technologies will be essential in helping Britain achieve net zero carbon emissions.  

In education, agreements are being signed with the University of Suffolk and National College for Nuclear to provide much-needed skills locally and access to jobs in new nuclear build through to decommissioning projects

This will include development of the Ipswich Waterfront Innovation Centre to include a Supply Chain & Logistics Academy. and within the university curriculum higher/degree-apprenticeship opportunities needed by Sizewell C in areas such as digital skills, engineering, supply chain and logistics. 

Julia Pyke, Sizewell C director, said: “This is an exciting time where we are forming important local partnerships that will see us make the most of Sizewell C for local people and the environment.”

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