EDF Energy opens new national training centre in Somerset
Historic 12th century buildings will be home for collaboration and innovation in energy
Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom has opened EDF Energy’s new national training centre in Cannington, Somerset. Cannington Court is a restored 12th century Benedictine nunnery which combines the latest in energy saving technology and digital learning with an historic space for thinking and collaboration.
She joined EDF Energy CEO Vincent de Rivaz at the centre near the proposed new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C. Cannington Court is a multi-million investment which will meet the training needs of EDF Energy, and allow collaboration with academic and industry partners.
Its facilities include new ways of learning through digital tools and virtual reality hardware. It also includes a simulator training centre. EDF Energy’s research and development team has installed ground source heat pumps and solar technology to generate electricity which means that more than 50% of the energy for the centre will be provided by these low carbon sources.
The centre forms part of EDF Energy’s “Campus” programme for all staff which includes an online hub and courses run across the UK. Campus will help employees to develop skills to work on smart metering, customer service, existing power stations, nuclear new build, human resources, finance, digital projects and other aspects of EDF Energy’s business.
Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom MP said: “Cannington Court offers a perfect synergy between the past, present and future. The new buildings dovetail neatly with the old; both combining to offer a first class learning experience for students looking to build a bright future. All of which underpins our ambitions for the future of our energy sector and our desire to prepare the ground for new nuclear builds in this country; facilities that will help deliver secure, low carbon and affordable energy.”
EDF Energy’s CEO Vincent de Rivaz said: “Today is the realisation of a vision that we set out four years ago when we chose the ancient buildings of Cannington Court to be the hub of our modern training facilities in EDF Energy, known as Campus. We have taken a Grade I listed building and respectfully turned it into a state of the art training facility complete with digital learning tools and a ground breaking low-carbon energy system.
“Cannington Court is about the long-term and the chain that links the past, through the present, to the future. EDF Energy is a company that invests in the long-term development of people. We are committed to developing the new skills and ideas to build a low-carbon society. The issues we face as a business and as a country will only be addressed by inspired people through innovation and new technologies.”
Somerset will be at the heart of the transition to the UK’s low carbon future. EDF Energy has invested millions in new local infrastructure, new transport links, as well as in education and training. The company has also partnered with local schools and colleges to develop the future skilled workforce for these projects.
EDF Energy has taken great care in sensitively restoring the historic building. The company has preserved the history of this centuries old building which is an example of its commitment to sustainability and energy efficiency.
Cannington Court is a Grade I listed building that in the 12th Century was a Benedictine nunnery. It’s also been a Catholic Industrial school for boys, and an agricultural college.