Britain’s first nuclear power station in a generation has awarded contracts worth over £465m to local suppliers so far.
The power station, which was given the go-ahead by the government last week, says its spending has inspired the creation of new consortiums, some of which have gone on to win further business with other customers.
Ken Owen, commercial director at Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, said that since 2012 the plant has worked with Somerset local authorities and Somerset Chamber of Commerce to make sure it sources from local suppliers where possible.
After initially informing local business people of the possible opportunities in an event at a Bridgwater hotel, six local consortia have been created and have won major contracts with the plant.
HOST, a joint venture of businesses from Taunton, Weston and Yeovil, won a £150m contract to manage temporary accommodation, where up to 1,500 workers will be housed.
Another coalition, Somerset Larder, made up of seven caterers from places including Bridgwater, Langford Budville, Minehead and Yeovil, will supply 8,000 meals a day to workers. Both of these coalitions have been created from scratch but have gone on to win other tenders.
For example Somerset Larder has won the tender to feed police officers in Bridgwater and Bristol, and according to Owen is now well positioned to win contracts across the country.
He pointed out that the contract would create hundred and 50 new jobs and the benefits would also cascade down the supply chain to Somerset Larder’s 30 plus suppliers.
Other consortia such as Construction Operations Management Alliance will supply site utilities like water and electricity while the Somerset Infrastructure Alliance will build infrastructure including roads.
FACE will handle design and print while Somerset Passenger Solutions will supply buses to and from the site.
Owen estimates these contracts will lead to the creation of jobs in Bridgwater, Catcombe, Taunton, Weston-super-Mare, Woodbury Salterton and Yeovil.
Other businesses based in the South West such as Chippenham’s M+W Group (design, engineering and construction) and Bideford’s TCi (GB) (building fit-outs) have also won contracts with the plant.
So far it estimates it has awarded contracts worth over £465m to companies in the South West, creating over 660 jobs with 3,000 businesses in Somerset and the South West registered on it supplier database and more contracts to come.
Owen believes that the project will create over 25,000 job opportunities across its lifetime, around a third of which are likely to go to people in Somerset.