Leader, Cllr Anthony Trollope-Bellew said: “I am delighted that the Government has concluded its review of the Hinkley Point C project and has confirmed its approval, it is a historic day for our area. Our Council which will host the power station has long recognised the enormous economic opportunities that it will bring to our area. Our team continues to work hard to maximise the benefits of the project for business and our communities, while at the same time ensuring that the impacts of the construction on local residents, especially those at Shurton and Burton, are minimised."
The Government has decided to proceed with the first new nuclear power station for a generation following a comprehensive review of the project, and a revised agreement with EDF. It will introduce a series of measures to enhance security and will ensure Hinkley cannot change hands without the Government’s agreement
Cllr Trollope-Bellew added: “West Somerset Council as the host authority of the project very much welcomes the news from the Government and importantly the subsequent announcement that EDF Energy wishes to formalise its commitment.
I am, however, surprised and annoyed that as Leader of West Somerset Council I only found out about the decision through listening to the TV news.”
The Council has been working with a range of partners, including EDF Energy, over many years to ensure that the area is ready to host the project and that our businesses and communities are well placed to take advantage of the huge opportunity.
Since granting consent for Site Preparation work to begin at the Hinkley Point C site the Council has delivered:
The opening of its third Employment Hub in Minehead with further hubs planned for Stogursey and the rural areas of Exmoor, complementing the hubs already up and running in Williton and Watchet. The hubs and a range of other skills development projects and interventions have supported over 450 local people, of which over 65 have moved into employment.
Existing West Somerset businesses have received a range of support. Over 500 have attended business training events for 2 or more hours, 200 have received tailored support specific to their business requirements. In the last year alone, over £110,000 of match funding was drawn into the District to help deliver this activity;
Over 300 West Somerset businesses have been registered on the EDF Energy supply chain portal and local businesses including Watchet Glass and Miles Tea and Coffee have won and been part of significant contracts already let to support the development;
Financial contributions to help deliver new housing schemes including the development at the former Croft House in Williton along with working with Magna to help facilitate home moves freeing up housing stock within the District;
Our Tourism Partnership has delivered 6 Tourism campaigns including the recently launched ‘Secret Somerset’. The work of the partnership has seen the Visit Exmoor achieve 45% growth and Visit Somerset has seen 25% growth in web traffic highlighting all that is on offer to visitors.
30 local businesses attended COOL tourism toolkit training and 35 West Somerset businesses have benefited from the Get Business Digital programme to help drive up marketing knowledge and help drive up the quality of the tourism offer.
Cllr Anthony Trollope-Bellew, Leader of West Somerset Council - 07977 591940