Experts are to be employed to see how businesses in Suffolk can secure the greatest benefits from the £14billion Sizewell C project if it goes ahead.
EDF Energy says the new nuclear power station will create 25,000 jobs over a decade – with 5,600 workers at its peak – and will generate £100m a year for the local economy during its construction, including lucrative contracts for companies supplying services of all kinds for the project.
More than 1,000 businesses in the region have already signed up with EDF to be kept informed of opportunities.
Geoff Holdcroft, cabinet member with responsibility for economic development at Suffolk Coastal District Council, said: “Following our response to EDF Energy’s Stage 2 Consultation on a new nuclear power station at Sizewell at the beginning of February, EDF have been very quiet as they digest and analyse all the responses they received.
“Since then this council’s Sizewell C Task Group has met to discuss how best this authority can prepare itself to engage with EDF in the run up to the Stage 3 public consultation.
“This council, together with Suffolk County Council in partnership with Suffolk Chamber of Commerce and New Anglia LEP, will shortly be commissioning the Sizewell C Economic Assessment.
“This assessment will identify how local partners can best exploit the economic benefits of the proposed development in areas such as new business formation, maximising opportunities for the local supply chain, inward investment and skills development.
“It will also identify how any potential negative economic impacts such as displacement of the existing workforce, impacts on the tourism sector and transport congestion can be minimised, mitigated or compensated.
“It is anticipated that the assessment will be completed in the autumn so that it can influence the development of the Sizewell C Economic Strategy and provide partners with a robust position ahead of Stage 3 public consultation.”
EDF received more than 1,000 responses to its last consultation, completed earlier this year, and work is taking place to analyse these as part of the ongoing development of the proposals.
No timetable has yet been suggested for the final stage of consultation.
Source: Richard Cornwall -East Anglian Daily Times.