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Awards 2022
Cumbria Sizewell Connector Photo

Cumbrian Collaboration supports Sizewell C supply chain opportunities to the North of England.

Recognising the significant Nuclear expertise and experience here in Cumbria, Sizewell C is taking a further step forward with Cumbrian partners to support their supply chain development across the North of England.

A collaboration of Cumbrian organisations has come together to link the capability and experience of supply chain companies in Cumbria and the North of England with the opportunities to support the construction of Sizewell C and in doing so support the development of a clean, secure energy source for Britain’s future.

Britain’s Energy Coast Business Cluster, Cumbria Chamber of Commerce and the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership have a track record of collaboration within Cumbria and will now extend this to link the opportunities at Sizewell C with a qualified and experienced nuclear supply chain as well as opening up opportunities for new entrants to the market.

Suzanne Caldwell, Managing Director of Cumbria Chamber of Commerce said: “Sizewell C have an established supply chain relationship with Suffolk Chamber of Commerce so it made sense to approach Cumbria Chamber to coordinate this activity in the north. But it’s not about any one organisation, it’s about us all working together to use our networks and experience to benefit businesses – as we already do on other activities. We’ll be working together to do that in a range of ways including identifying and sharing specific supply chain opportunities, helping more businesses gear up to meet requirements and encouraging and supporting businesses to come together and collaborate. There are also great opportunities around skills development and rewarding job opportunities. And Sizewell C creates a springboard for future activity, nationally and internationally.”

In 2020 several visionary northern leaders signed a MOU for the north with the Sizewell C consortium containing a number of commitments which will ensure that the benefits of the Sizewell C project extend across the northern supply chain allowing the project to benefit from a supply chain which is well versed in delivering in a nuclear environment. Cumbria has a rich nuclear heritage and ability to train up, skill and develop capability, with facilities such as the National College for Nuclear and the development of a Civil Engineering Training Centre at Lakes College.

Julia Pyke, Sizewell C Financing & Economic Regulation Director, said: “Sizewell C will develop skills and bring jobs throughout the U.K. building on the work of colleagues at Hinkley Point C, and helping prepare the U.K. for the future nuclear programme.”

Construction to Nuclear standards is a huge undertaking, delivered with expert supply chain capability currently at Sellafield in Cumbria, at Hinkley Point C in Somerset and in the foreseeable future at Sizewell C in Suffolk. Those capabilities link together those regions and will grow following the recent release of the UK Energy Security Strategy and its ambitious plans for new nuclear projects, including at Wylfa, partners in the North West Nuclear Arc with Cumbria and the wider North West.

Dianne Richardson, Chief Exec of Britain’s Energy Coast Business Cluster commented “Using the established networks of nuclear clusters, Chambers of Commerce and Local Enterprise Partnerships and extending into their further connected networks we can ensure that opportunities are visible to all interested businesses across the North of England while providing the support and networks to help them succeed. New Nuclear is an expanding sector with room for all to benefit. A culture of collaboration rather than competition will create greater business opportunities for supply chain in the north and that’s what we’re creating here.”

Cumbria partners will be engaging collaboratively with a range of stakeholders across the north, including other Chambers, member organisations and LEPs, aiming to maximise the benefits to the north of England.

Ian Wheeler, Head of Clean Energy, Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership observed “This is a significant opportunity for the supply chain in the north of England and fits with new nuclear development as set out in the Cumbria LEP Clean Energy Strategy. We will engage with the Northern Powerhouse and the 11 Local Enterprise Partnerships across the North of England. We look forward to working with Sizewell C and Suffolk team to bring about this huge national infrastructure project and the wider development of new nuclear capability in the UK.”