A NEW report has revealed that Hinkley Point C is having a transformative impact for local communities, businesses and the economy.

A dashboard report from the Heart of the South West LEP – which covers Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay – has confirmed Hinkley Point C’s role as a catalyst for growth, job creation and prosperity, writes James Edginton.

Hinkley Point C is the UK’s first new nuclear power station in over two decades and will provide low-carbon electricity for six million homes.

With the peak of construction still to follow, it has already provided a significant boost to the local economy close to the site and more widely.

Across the Heart of the South West, for every pound invested in the project, the local region is gaining £2.50 of value.

The power station has led to a significant surge in the number of medium and large companies setting up, expanding, or relocating to the region, bringing new investments and opportunities.

The project is forecast to provide 25,000 employment opportunities during the construction phase and has already trained over 1,000 apprentices, with Hinkley Point C not only providing employment opportunities, but also contributing to tackling long-standing social mobility challenges through the long-term development of a skilled workforce.

The dashboard report reveals a substantial increase in the population aged 25-39 in Sedgemoor, West Somerset, and Taunton, suggesting that the project has enhanced the attractiveness of the region for employment opportunities and long-term settlement.

The data also shows how the project’s multi-million investment into new training facilities is making a difference with improvements in post-16 educational attainment, particularly in technical and vocational training, which has overtaken the national average.

Furthermore, productivity in Bridgwater, the town closest to the project, is growing faster than anywhere else in the region and is also well above the national average.

Karl Tucker, Chair of the Heart of the South West LEP, said: "We are thrilled to present this comprehensive dashboard that delves into the remarkable impact of Hinkley Point C on our region.

“The project has not only brought substantial job opportunities and investments but has fostered a culture of learning and growth. As we move forward, the positive effects of this project will continue to be felt by our communities, leaving a lasting legacy of progress."

Despite challenges like the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the project has propelled the wider region towards a brighter and more prosperous future. 

Andrew Cockcroft, Hinkley Point C's Senior Stakeholder Relations Manager, said: “Hinkley Point C is essential in fighting climate change but is also delivering significant benefits for the communities that are hosting such an important project.”

“From the very beginning, we have worked together with the Heart of the South West LEP to make sure that Hinkley Point C increases prosperity and productivity in Somerset and the South West – giving as many people as possible the chance to increase their skills and earning potential."

Written by James Edginton.