Under Construction, Bridgwater's employment hub based off West Quay Close is celebrating after a fantastic first year.

Since being opened by Olympic hero Sally Gunnell in April 2017, the team at the new training and community learning space has pulled together expertise, help and guidance from a range of local organisations to good effect.

In the first year the team have helped 24 long term unemployed people back into work which Under Construction says is estimated to put £1m back into the local economy, and they have helped fill 394 jobs in total.

Caroline Derrick from Under Construction explained that the team had carried out 781 information, advice and guidance sessions, held 57 event including workshops with Bridgwater & Taunton College and had carried out safeguarding training for 29 taxi drivers.

Footfall has been 2,318, and there have been 444 learners registered for courses.

The partners help local people to develop and gain new skills to take advantage employment opportunities across Sedgemoor, and in particular Hinkley C.

"It has been an absolutely amazing first year and we have achieved above and beyond what we have expected," Mrs Derrick said.

"It is not just Hinkley C work either, with the various hotels and developments going up in the town there are a wide range of opportunities available."

Caroline explained that unemployment has actually been rather low in Sedgemoor, and as such the company was focusing on helping people with training and upskilling and working with disabled people to help them find work.

"We want companies to focus on what people with disabilities can do and not what they can't," Mrs Derrick said.

Hosted by Sedgemoor District Council, a number of organisations work together from the 2,000 sq ft space.

The programme includes specific training support for those with literacy, numeracy, IT and language needs; support with 'work skills' support for those recovering from a drugs or alcohol problem and seeking work; people on probation; introductory courses for mums, older people and other groups looking to re-join the workforce as well as training courses for those looking for a change.

The centre is being funded by EDF Energy through a £45,000 investment over three years from the planning permission given to prepare the site at Hinkley Point C for construction. The money is being matched by partner contributions, either in kind or by direct funding.