18 Aug 11

Locals come forward to house Hinkley Point C construction workers

Local residents are joining hoteliers and caravan park owners in registering their accommodation for workers involved in EDF Energy’s Hinkley Point C project.

Enterprising locals will be among the first to benefit directly from the wider economic boost to the area, estimated at around £100 million for each year of construction.

Over 1,250 rooms in private homes have been registered so far, alongside accommodation in B and Bs, guest houses, hotels and static caravans.

Two advertisements in the local press, as well as the ongoing media attention surrounding the project, have prompted a flood of calls to EDF Energy’s Bridgwater office.

Following approval of site preparation works last month, the project has taken a number of significant steps forward, with applications for a nuclear site licence and environmental permits also being submitted.

An application for the main site construction will be made to the Infrastructure Planning Commission later this year. Should this application be successful, around 5,600 workers would be employed during peak construction of the new power station.

EDF Energy has established a dedicated Accommodation Office to direct workers into appropriate accommodation. Whilst a large number will be on medium and long term contracts and will make use of private rented property and residential lettings, there will be a significant number of workers who will stay for shorter periods, so needing bed and breakfast or hotel accommodation.

Dawn Hartley, the Accommodation Office manager based in EDF Energy’s King Square office in Bridgwater, said: “It’s great that so many local people have come forward with accommodation they wish to let. We’re particularly pleased to see those offering rooms which have not previously been let as this increases the total accommodation available and will be financially beneficial to local residents.”

Lynda and Richard Ayre from Farringdon Hill, Stogursey are just one example of the many local residents registering their home with the accommodation office. Richard said: “We have registered our spare rooms as this seems like a good opportunity. I think the project will be a real boost to the local economy and I’m sure many others will join in welcoming workers to the area.”

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. By securing bed spaces across a mix of private and commercial accommodation, tourists will still be catered for and hoteliers can let out their rooms during periods when tourist demand is low.”

EDF Energy is also proposing campus accommodation for workers at three locations. Additionally, by investing in skills provision in the county and working with local firms, the company is encouraging local workers to become involved in the construction so that they benefit from the contracts worth many millions of pounds.

Any residents who would like to add their property to the register should call Dawn Hartley on 01278 444600 or drop into the King Square office in Bridgwater.