BRIDGWATER College has been chosen as a training provider for a new National College for Nuclear (NCfN), the Government has announced today (Friday).

The scheme, which is a partnership between Government and nuclear employers, led by EDF Energy and Sellafield Ltd, will train future workers in the UK’s nuclear industry.

The new college will see investements in Bridgwater to build a state-of-the-art training facility housing virtual reality environments, a reactor simulator, lecture theatre and sports facilities as well as two student accommodation blocks comprising 50 bedrooms.

Andy Berry, vice principal at Bridgwater College said: “Bridgwater College is delighted to be part of this incredibly exciting opportunity to develop a National College for Nuclear.

“We have a long history of working with the nuclear industry and in particular, with EDF Energy, with whom we have developed facilities and training opportunities that have had a significant impact on our communities.

“The experience we have of partnering with industry alongside delivering extremely high quality qualifications will enable us, working with both EDF Energy and Sellafield Ltd, to create a higher technical and professional curriculum that addresses skill and capability gaps and maintains and improves educational standards in the nuclear sector.”

The NCfN will be run through a partnership between Bridgwater College, EDF Energy and University of Bristol, which will be the Southern hub and Lakes College, Sellafield Ltd and the University of Cumbria, which will create the Northern hub.

Bridgwater's MP Ian Liddell-Grainger said: “This announcement is really great news - it shows commitment to Bridgwater as well as to the Hinkley deal.

"There has been so much work put in right across the board for this.

"The Bridgwater team will now draw up the scheme and put it to the Government.

“There is still a lot of work to be done but I am more than confident that the new college will be built in Bridgwater.

"I know there is a lot of admiration for Bridgwater College within the Government and also amongst the opposition."

Vincent de Rivaz CBE, chief executive, EDF Energy, said: “EDF Energy is proud to be at the heart of the UK’s new National College for Nuclear.

“The industry needs high quality vocational skills so that we can continue to operate the existing nuclear fleet safely for longer, as well as for taking forward plans for the UK’s first new nuclear power station in a generation.”

Funding will come from the £80 million committed by Government towards seven new National Colleges for industry, and be matched by cash and in-kind investment from employers.

Business minister Matthew Hancock said: “It’s expected the nuclear industry will need 30,000 new employees over the next decade – and the Nuclear College will equip young people with the skills they need.

“Creating jobs and opportunities for local people is front and centre of our long term economic plan to secure a brighter future for Britain.”