Somerset

Hinkley Point C nuclear go-ahead: Reaction from Somerset

There has been a mixed reaction in the West to the government's announcement that Hinkley C will go ahead.

Some business leaders and politicians claimed the nuclear plant, just outside Bridgwater in Somerset, will lead to an economic boom for the area.

Initial estimates from Somerset County Council claimed the regional economy is set to benefit by around £4bn.

However, others are concerned about the impact of having Europe's largest construction site on their doorstep.

Image copyright Somerset County Council
Image caption Leader of Somerset County Council John Osman (l) and councillor David Hall (r) said the decision will bring 'unprecedented investment and job creation'

Leader of Somerset County Council John Osman said the decision is a "once in a generation" opportunity and will "bring unprecedented investment and job creation to the county and the wider region".

Councillor David Hall, cabinet member for business and inward investment, said the plants will be the catalyst for economic growth in Somerset: "During construction alone, the project is expected to bring £200m to the local economy."

Image caption Roy Pumphrey of the Stop Hinkley campaign has claimed the economic benefits of the site are a 'myth created by EDF'

Roy Pumphrey of the Stop Hinkley Campaign said "Bridgwater will not know what has hit it when, and if, the real work on the power station should it ever start, begins.

"Once the thousands of vans, hundreds of buses... are all on the roads Bridgwater will become a no go area as far as access is concerned.

Image copyright Greenpeace
Image caption Emma Gibson from Greenpeace said there is 'huge uncertainly' about Hinkely C and it would be better to 'invest in renewable energy which is cheaper and more reliable'.

Speaking on BBC Somerset Emma Gibson from Greenpeace said: "I don't think it's over. The deal may still unravel and cause a great deal of concern for the people of Somerset.

"There is huge uncertainty around this project...it's better to invest in renewable energy - it's cheaper and more reliable."

However, councillor Leigh Redman, from Bridgwater Town & Sedgemoor District Council, said "Hinkley Point C should be welcomed for the good it will bring our town, but we should be compensated where necessary for inconvenience or negative impact.

"I call on Hinkley Point C to remember the small person and go that extra mile to support those that need it."

Image copyright Visit Somerset
Image caption Visit Somerset boss John Turner said they would 'ensure that the warmest of welcomes' to the army of workers need to build the plant

Chief executive of Visit Somerset John Turner said the "eyes of the world will be on Somerset" and they are getting ready to "welcome probably the largest workforce coming into the region".

He added that they have "worked very hard with other local government bodies over many years to ensure that Somerset gains the most out of the this project".

Image copyright University of Bristol
Image caption Professor Tom Scott, from the South West Nuclear Hub, said they will 'aim to solve some of the thorniest challenges in waste management and decommissioning' of nuclear waste

Professor Tom Scott, co-director of the South West Nuclear Hub and Nuclear Research Centre at the University of Bristol, said the decision will "support the UK nuclear renaissance".

He added this is a "huge opportunity opening up in the region for young skilled people to enter the nuclear industry."

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