CELEBRATIONS were underway on Friday morning as Hinkley Point's visitor centre reached a major milestone welcoming its 100,000th visitor since first opening its doors in 2012.

Now a familiar sight in Bridgwater’s Angel Place shopping centre, it welcomes local people of all ages and works as a ‘one stop shop’ for all EDF Energy enquiries and activities in Somerset.

John Durant of Bridgwater was the 100,000th visitor.

The facility offers a wealth of information and guidance on both Hinkley Point B and C sites, and also provides guided tours of both stations.

Activities support everything from building interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects, to ecology and environment education and community safety guidance with local partners.

An EDF spokesman said: "The success and ongoing development of the centre was also recognised in 2017 when the team won an EDF Energy community champion innovation award at the company’s Generation Performance Innovations Awards ceremony.

Sherryl Sellick, visitor centre coordinator, said: “Since we opened the visitor centre, the community has made great use of the facility, either through wanting to know more information about nuclear power, raising a customer query, or supporting our special themed events programme, and we are looking forward to welcoming our next 100,000 visitors.”

Peter Evans, Hinkley Point B’s station director, added: “Openness and transparency is inherent in everything we do and the great work and success of our visitor centre is a crucial factor with building trust in the local community.

“Reaching our 100,000th visitor milestone is a tremendous achievement, and is testament to the great efforts and hard work of everybody involved with the visitor centre set-up.”

Since opening the team have taken more than 16,500 people on tours on the Hinkley B site, and 7,000 to the Hinkley C construction site.

However David Eccles, EDF's head of stakeholder engagement for Hinkley C said the company was looking at making more use of its Cannington Centre and in the long term the plan was for people visiting the site to meet there rather than the Angel Place visitor centre.