6 November 2015 13:15
Businesses across Heart of the South West area to benefit from Hinkley support
The Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (HotSW LEP) has awarded the interim contract for business support services linked with Hinkley Point C to the Somerset Chamber of Commerce and its delivery partners SWMAS Ltd and Business West.
This means businesses across the HotSW LEP area – which covers the local authorities of Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay – will be better placed to take advantage of Hinkley Point C contracts with EDF Energy and its industrial partners.
The Somerset Chamber’s Hinkley Supply Chain Team already manages the supply chain portal for Hinkley Point C and is the first point of contact for South West businesses wishing to engage in the construction of the proposed nuclear new build project. As part of the HotSW LEP business support activity, the Chamber is now working with a number of business organisations across the region to identify local supplier capability, increasing the breadth and depth of the supply chain throughout the HotSW area.
Other key focuses for the project will include the identification and assessment of work package opportunities; matching supplier capabilities to specific requirements; assisting with the creation of new business collaborations; and providing ongoing support and guidance for supplier alliances. The overall aim of the project is to boost the number of relevant businesses in the HotSW area that are registered on the supply chain portal, with the aim of ensuring that as many local businesses benefit from the development as possible.
Chris Langdon, Project Lead for the Hinkley Supply Chain Team, said,
“This funding provides the resource to support supplier groups responding to site operation work packages. Five local supplier alliances, including a number of businesses based in the Heart of the South West area, have already been announced by EDF Energy as the preferred bidders for contracts worth over £225million. Our ongoing work with Tier 1 contractors will enable us to continue to stimulate early identification and assessment of future work packages, allowing targeted suppliers the time to develop their offer.”
HotSW LEP Chair Steve Hindley said,
“Hinkley is the largest project in the Heart of the South West area, indeed it’s the largest engineering project in Europe. Therefore if we are going to harness the enormous legacy potential to benefit local businesses and residents, it’s crucial that local suppliers are equipped and at the ready to take up these unprecedented opportunities.
“I am delighted that the Somerset Chamber has been commissioned to manage the Interim Hinkley supply chain contract – their expertise and relationships with businesses are a real asset.”
Following recent confirmation of Chinese investment for Hinkley Point C and anticipation of an imminent Final Investment Decision, supply chain activity is expected to step up a gear as businesses position themselves to make the most of this once-in-a-generation opportunity. Hinkley Point C is expected to generate £16billion of investment over the next decade, boosting the South West regional economy by hundreds of millions of pounds during the construction period. It will require the engagement of a vast range of industries, from high-end advanced engineering through to site support services including catering, accommodation, transport and maintenance.
To date, almost 3,000 businesses across the South West have registered their interest via the Hinkley supply chain portal, with over 70% of these being based within the HotSW area. Businesses wishing to register or find out more about the support available should visit www.hinkleysupplychain.co.uk