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Hinkley Point Power Stations

Energy and Climate Change written question – answered on 3rd May 2011.

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Photo of Tessa Munt Tessa Munt Liberal Democrat, Wells

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will take steps to increase the proportion of small and medium-sized enterprises in the South West able to bid for contracts at Hinkley Point power station.

Photo of Charles Hendry Charles Hendry The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change

The Government are committed to developing the capability and competitiveness of the UK supply chain and are already taking steps to achieve this through initiatives such as the Nuclear Industry Association's sc@nuclear programme which is focused on engaging with SMEs.

This and other initiatives such as the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre and the Manufacturing Advisory Service are open to companies in the south-west as well as nationwide and are intended to put UK suppliers in the best possible position to compete for the opportunities that would be created by a new nuclear build programme.

As part of all of this EDF has been working with the local community in the sout-west and has set up a website with the Somerset Chambers of Commerce and Industry Ltd where local companies can get more information on the opportunities at the proposed site at Hinkley Point and can register as contractors (for work which is directly related to construction at Hinkley Point or associated development) or indirect service suppliers (for services to EDF Energy and main contractors that are not directly related to on site activity such as taxi firms, accommodation providers, office supplies, local retailers etc).

EDF has also invested £3 million in the Energy Skills Centre at Bridgwater college to help secure skilled jobs for local people on its project and plans to invest a further £1.5 million to establish a construction skills training centre at Bridgwater college, in partnership with the college. Other projects include an investment of £1.6 million in West Somerset Community college to support training in specific skills that will help people into employment on Hinkley Point and create an apprenticeship hub.

We will continue to encourage EDF and other prospective licensees to engage with the UK and local supply chains to ensure that UK companies have the opportunity to compete for the benefits presented by nuclear new build in the UK and overseas.

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