The Hinkley Point C construction project has already significantly benefited the local economy with over £100m worth of contracts having been won by South West businesses since the beginning of 2016 – and there’s lots more yet to come! For the full picture please read the news bulletin below which was issued by Insider News Media Ltd. today.
Roger Mundy, Managing Director, Beardsley Theobalds, 11th December 2017
Hinkley Point C impact ‘greater than expected’
A senior manager at Sedgemoor District Council has revealed that the economic impact of the Hinkley Point C construction project is likely to be even greater than was originally expected.
Speaking at Insider’s Hinkley: The Power of Supply Chains breakfast, Claire Pearce, group manager for strategy and development at Sedgemoor District Council, said it was always a stipulation of the planning consent for the project to engage with local businesses.
She said: “The planning strategy for the project required there to be a supply chain engagement strategy. We set a financial target to that and set performance indicators around that, which we oversee and try to make sure that EDF do what they set out to do. But the proof is there already – there is a genuine intent to use local businesses and to really have a positive legacy on the area, both in terms of business capacity and capability, but also in terms of the skills side as well.”
She added: “The expenditure in Sedgemoor and the wider area is quite considerable and will probably exceed the targets that we set out to achieve in the beginning.”
More than 100 people attended the breakfast held in Bridgwater on Friday (8 December 2017) to hear from a panel of experts, including representatives of businesses already benefitting from being part of the Hinkley supply chain.
Chris Langdon, Hinkley Supply Chain project manager at Somerset Chamber, said some 3,979 companies are now registered on the supply chain site – 2,500 in Somerset, with the rest from the wider South West.
Langdon said: “If you get some reasonably sized projects, the scale of the growth in business can be really quite dramatic. It’s important that businesses are ready for that. Since the beginning of 2016 there are something like 250 South West suppliers that have been delivering contracts on Hinkley – more than £100m worth of business.
“So engagement is happening. I think the other common message is that the successes we’re seeing are businesses who are deciding that they are going to make Hinkley a big opportunity, and they’re taking the time to get to understand what their opportunity is, who their tier-1 customer might be and how they engage. I think those businesses that are just waiting for opportunities to turn up in their inbox are frustrated, because that’s probably not happening.”
Jonathan Jones-Pratt, managing director of JJP Holdings, which won the contract to supply transport links to the Hinkley site, said: “It’s all about relationships. It’s about understanding the clients and understanding the engagement. But it’s a fantastic opportunity and it’s on our doorstep. Every day when you go to the site and you see what’s happening – the actual scale of it – you remind yourself of the journey we’ve been on in the last few years and starting with two sixteen-seat minibuses, running around Somerset. Look where we are today – we have nearly 130 vehicles running daily.”
Tim Parker, general manager technical at Berry & Escott Engineering, Bridgwater, said the development of a consortium alongside other engineering firms, allowed the company to take on the scale of the work.
He said: “Our Hinkley journey started four years ago. We went to various events and seminars put on by Somerset Chamber, and regularly came into contact with like-minded engineering companies. From a machining background you soon realise that no one company can handle a project the size of Hinkley Point C. It seemed almost like a natural progression to form a consortium of like-minded companies with similar skill bases, but who are not necessarily competitors, and that way we could pool our resources and upscale.”
The event was sponsored by Albert Goodman, Ashfords, Higos Insurance Services, Lombard, Rise Technical Recruitment and Sedgemoor District Council and was held in association with the Hinkley Supply Chain Team at Somerset Chamber.