1. ITV Report

Hinkley Point C begins to take shape

The site has its own bus and fire services. Photo: EDF

More than 2,000 people are now working on the building of a new nuclear power station in Somerset.

It has been a year since the government gave the final go-ahead for the construction of Hinkley Point C.

The company building it, EDF, says the station is on track to be producing energy in eight years.

But the project remains controversial with campaigners saying it should be stopped in its tracks.

The foundations for Reactor One (left) are taking shape. Credit: ITV West Country

Twelve months ago the construction site of Britain's first new nuclear power station for two decades seemed empty.

The past year has seen huge change.

EDF Energy plans to have the station ready in 2025 and the site is like a working town.

It features its own bus service, fire department, restaurant, road network and accommodation for an ever-growing workforce.

On the site itself there are 2,000 workers.

The site has been transformed since work began. Credit: ITV West Country

The foundations for the reactor for Unit One are starting to take shape as the project continues.

The project has become one of the biggest construction sites in Europe.

More than three million tonnes of concrete will be poured at the site in the build period.

The project also involves big contracts.

A company based near Exeter is helping to make a jetty used to bring materials on site via boat.

It's been a huge learning curve and an uplift for Blackhill Engineering we've seen going from a normal day's shift, standard working, to doing double day shifts - six in the morning till ten at night. I think we'll see somewhere about a twenty per cent increase in staff this year.

– Richard Lovemore, General Manager, Blackhill Engineering
Blackhill Engineering based near Exeter is working on a jetty at the site. Credit: ITV West Country

The knock-on effect of the build can also be felt in the surrounding area.

Holly Buckingham's life changed forever two years ago when her husband, Luke, died from leukaemia.

Before he passed away I was very fortunate to have some very meaningful conversations with him and he turned to me and said I think you should open a café. You've always wanted to have a café so why not?

– Holly Buckingham

Holly started with a mobile coffee shop. But got the opportunity to do something much bigger after talking to the Somerset Larder, which provides a hub for Hinkley Point C's catering.

Through a series of fortunate happenings I've ended up now with one café, just about to open another café and a mobile delivery service about to roll out.

– Holly Buckingham
Holly Buckingham's cafe is based at a business centre in Bridgwater Credit: ITV West Country

From the many roadworks on nearby routes that are finished, to those about to begin - the impact of the change that Hinkley Point C is bringing can be noticed far from the site on the West Somerset coastline.

With years of building, and billions of pounds of spending yet to come - there is plenty more change on the way.