BUSINESSES in Bridgwater are being urged not to lose out to rivals from outside the area in the race for tens of millions of pounds worth of Hinkley C contracts.

Although it is yet to receive permission for a third nuclear power station at Hinkley Point, EDF Energy revealed this week it has already awarded £61million of contracts for the project to firms in the South-West, including £25million in Somerset.

Bridgwater companies which have won contracts include caterers, sign makers, building firms, printers, B&B owners, road sweepers and carpenters.

Somerset Chamber of Commerce chairman Rupert Cox has called on more businesses from outside the Bridgwater area to register with a dedicated Hinkley C supply chain website.

Of the nearly 1,000 firms nationwide to sign up so far, 346 are from Sedgemoor and Mr Cox said: “There is certainly an issue in Somerset that it’s been very Bridgwater-focused”.

However, businesses in the Bridgwater area want as much of the money to stay here as possible.

Richard Ball, 44, runs Three Ways Fire Pre-vention Services in Wembdon together with his wife, Shirley, 47, and the couple have won a contract to supply fire safety equipment and training at Hinkley C.

Richard said: “It’s fantastic for us. It’s added 10% to our turnover for the last financial year.

“It’s also a great opportunity for businesses in Bridgwater."