5,000 Somerset people predicted to find work on Hinkley Point C construction, as EDF Energy prepares to consult on changes and further details to its Preferred Proposals
EDF Energy will seek views on some changes to the preferred proposals set out at its Stage 2 consultation and on some updates in response to local feedback and detailed studies.
The fundamentals of the Hinkley Point C project remain the same, but the company has further developed the detail of the proposals and considered carefully views raised through consultation and continuing engagement with the local community and stakeholders, including the local authorities.
The consultation will take place from 25 February to 28 March 2011 and will focus on material changes to the plans since the close of the Stage 2 consultation, as well as on other matters on which the company welcomes further views on their plans.
Among the latest analysis is that it is now anticipated that around 5,000 Somerset people will work on the site at some stage during the whole construction period, with up to 1,250 Somerset people employed at any one time.
The job opportunities for Somerset people will include construction, mechanical and electrical and civil engineering, as well as professional, administrative and support roles.
The new power station will require 900 operational staff, the majority of whom - up to 95% - are expected to live in Somerset. Two-thirds of the 300 trained technicians needed for the operation of Hinkley Point C will come through EDF Energy's 4-year apprenticeship programme. As a result EDF Energy will be increasing the number of apprenticeships over the next few years.
This good news comes at a time when figures show that the percentage of working age population in Somerset in employment is falling.
In order to ensure local people have the maximum opportunity to secure jobs, EDF Energy is investing in local colleges with £6 million committed to local skills, to be delivered in tandem with the development of the project.
The investment in training and development of apprentice opportunities will help to address the skills gap that exists in Somerset. Offering skilled employment opportunities to local students will allow them to consider remaining in the county instead of having to move away to find such employment.
Rupert Cox, chief executive of the Somerset Chamber of Commerce, said: "We have been working tirelessly alongside EDF Energy to maximise the potential economic benefits for Somerset businesses. This involves preparing the local supply chain for what is expected of them for this excellent commercial opportunity as well as providing advice and information to local companies. There is a genuine sense of excitement out there and we need to ensure that Somerset businesses grab the opportunities with both hands."
Bob Nicholson, chairman of the Somerset Tourism Association, said: "Our County has so much to offer, not just to those lucky enough to live here, but also for the many visitors we welcome to Somerset each year. A successful local economy is a key part of maintaining our attraction for tourists. The planned visitor centre at the new power station is an exciting prospect that will prove to be a great attraction in its own right, adding to the economic boost that tourism generates across Somerset."
The latest consultation supplements earlier consultations and gives people an opportunity to comment on the company’s updated plans before a development consent order application is submitted to the Infrastructure Planning Commission.
Details of the updates and changes to the Preferred Proposals will be published at the beginning of the consultation period.
EDF Energy is holding a further series of public exhibitions to seek the views of people living in the vicinity of Hinkley Point and the surrounding communities affected by the changes.
The aim of the public exhibitions is to provide the public with an update about the project and to help people understand and comment on the changes to the proposals. Members of the EDF Energy project team will be on hand to answer questions.
The dates for the public exhibitions are:
Saturday 26 February
Danesfield School, Williton TA4 4SW from12 noon to 4pm
Monday 28 February
Sedgemoor Hall, Sedgemoor Auction Centre, North Petherton TA6 6DF from 2pm to 8pm
Tuesday 1 March
Otterhampton Village Hall TA5 2QS from 2pm to 8pm
Wednesday 2 March
Victory Hall, Stogursey TA5 1PR from 2pm to 8pm
Thursday 3 March
The Exchange, Bridgwater TA6 4RR from 2pm to 8pm
Friday 4 March
The Main Hall, Bridgwater College, Cannington TA5 2LS from 2pm to 8pm
Saturday 5 March
Angel Place Shopping Centre, Bridgwater TA6 3TQ from 10am to 4pm
Richard Mayson, EDF Energy’s Director of Planning and External Affairs for Nuclear New Build said: "Hinkley Point C is planned to be the first new nuclear power station in the UK for more than 15 years. Both its construction and operation will bring significant opportunities for local and regional communities. As well as maximising our contribution to the local and regional economies, we will ensure that any significant adverse effects of the construction or operation of the power station and associated developments are mitigated and managed sensitively.
"Our first and second stage consultations gave local communities and other interested stakeholders the opportunity to comment on our proposals. We have listened to those views and revised our plans in a number of areas. We encourage people to see what changes have been made and we look forward to hearing local views."
Views can be given at the exhibition events and will be fed into the consultation. More information can be found at:
A consultation document updating members of the public on the project and the proposed changes, and seeking their views, will be widely available at the public exhibitions and to download from the website. A summary of this will be translated into key minority languages used in the Bridgwater area and made available on the website. A large print version of the summary will also be available on request. A translation and interpretation service can be provided if required, while EDF Energy staff will undertake, on request, home visits to people with mobility problems who are directly affected by its proposals.
Views can also be made known by:
Writing to: FREEPOST CONSULTATION RESPONSE (no stamp or further address required)
Calling in to our Bridgwater office: 14 King Square, Bridgwater, TA6 3DG
Telephoning: 01278 444 600 or 0800 169 6507 (Freephone)