East of England chambers of commerce issue rallying call for Sizewell C supply chain opportunities
The plan to build a new nuclear power station on the Suffolk coast has been formally backed by all six chambers in the East of England region.
The leading business bodies have come together to encourage businesses in their area to sign up to the Sizewell C supply chain portal sooner rather than later so that they are ready for the hundreds of opportunities as and when the Government give the green light.
As one of the vital cogs in the Sizewell C wheel and as a key part of the Development Consent Order for the power station, local businesses will have a prime role in the building of this new power plant, with over 2,400 local jobs being created, and a confirmed promise to spend at least £125m per year locally, throughout the 10-12 years of construction (£1.5bn over the construction of the nuclear new build).
John Dugmore, chief executive of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce said: “According to an Ernst & Young report, the expected construction programme alone stands at around £4.4bn of work which will be available for East Anglian firms to tender for and we hope secure a large slice of this opportunity An opportunity of this scale rarely comes along and we want Suffolk, and other regional businesses to be ready and able to bid for these works to benefit our economies.”
Denise Rossiter, chief executive of Essex Chamber of Commerce added: “Suffolk Chamber of Commerce has a team dedicated to the Sizewell C Supply Chain, and their role is to ensure that local and regional businesses are ready and able to respond, when the call to arms is made by Sizewell C. We want the partnership between our regional chambers to elevate this project and see us exceed the targets set by EDF and Sizewell C Consortium for the building of Sizewell C.”
As part of their agreement to build a nuclear power plant in East Anglia, EDF has also promised to attract 1500 new apprenticeships, and to leave a legacy of skills and opportunity in our region.
Adding his support to the combined venture, Justin Richardson, chief executive of Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce stated: “We urge our businesses to sign up to the Sizewell C Supply Chain Portal and start discussions with Ashley and his supply chain team based at Suffolk Chamber. This is the best way they can get the advanced notice of workshops, training seminars and meet the buyer events, as well as getting informed the moment work packages become available.”
Chris Sargisson, Norfolk Chamber of Commerce’s chief executive commented: “To deliver great engagement from the business community, it is important to help SME business owners to understand the opportunity available to them and that a raft of support can be accessed to help them to scale-up to meet the challenge. We would encourage all businesses to register on the Sizewell C Supply chain portal and find out how they can upskill and grow.”
Agreeing with Chris’s sentiments, Briege Leahy, Hertfordshire Chamber’s chief executive continued: “The last 18 months have been really tough for many businesses. A project like this, giving businesses clarity on where growth can be achieved, especially by spreading risk and working together, is a real positive. By working in collaboration, our members and wider business community can learn and grow together, and that will be such a positive legacy of this project.”
Vic Annells, chief executive of Cambridgeshire Chamber explained: “In addition to creating a supply chain for the Sizewell C build, the team are also working closely with the local councils and LEP who are leading the charge to ensure that suitable actions are taken to develop a resilient workforce that can handle to huge array of large scale projects on the horizon. From 1,000 welders, to 300 people working in the food and catering service, there will be a huge amount of people needed to make sure Sizewell C happens on time.”
Concluding, Ashley Shorey-Mills, head of Suffolk Chamber’s Sizewell C supply chain engagement concluded: “This is a wonderful opportunity for East of England businesses and the huge variety of regional Chamber members to come and work together, to showcase the best of what our counties can offer an infrastructure project like this. But the real exciting thing, is how we will be combining to create a supply chain infrastructure that is ready to take full advantage of the inward investment and growth that sectors such as energy will bring to our region over the coming years.”
The Sizewell C supply chain portal can be accessed at: www.sizewellcsupplychain.co.uk