Thousands of new jobs as Hinkley Point C to ramp up

Hinkley Point C Credit: ITV West Country

As many as 3,000 new jobs could be created at Hinkley Point C in Somerset as the company building the new nuclear power station looks to ramp up construction.

EDF Energy has announced it will increase the number of workers on site to 8,500 when Covid restrictions allow.

The news has been both welcomed and criticised by people in the community in Somerset.

EDF Energy had planned to have a peak workforce of 5,600 at Hinkley Point C - one of the biggest building sites on earth - but it has now decided to increase that to 8,500 once coronavirus restrictions are lifted.

Hinkley Point C Credit: ITV West Country

Delivery director at Hinkley Point C Nigel Cann said: "Beyond Covid-19 we really would like to ramp the site up and get this power station online as quickly as possible and we’d like to do it in partnership with the region, I think, and make sure the opportunities that brings are taken by the region."

But some locals fear extra workers will mean increased traffic and disruption for those living nearby.

Roy Pumfrey from Stop Hinkley told ITV News West Country: "The main impact on them will be traffic because of the increase in traffic - there are bound to be hundreds more buses involved."

Nigel Cann has tried to ease these concerns. He said: "People shouldn’t expect to see more buses - actually you’ll probably see less once we’re able to fill them up and it doesn’t mean we’re going to bring any more lorries, it’s the same amount of equipment and materials that are going to come to the site."

"So from a traffic point of view, I think there will be no visible increase at all."

In a statement from EDF Energy it said for now the project is "focussed on keeping the workforce and local community safe".

The statement also said as many as four out of five of the additional jobs at peak are expected to be filled by local people.

"As part of the new assessment of workforce numbers, it is forecast that a higher proportion of workers will be locally based and stay in their own homes. At the peak of construction it is now expected that around half of the total workforce will be local - previously it was expected to be around one-third."

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