The long-awaited announcement that the government and EDF Energy have agreed a deal on the Hinkley Point C will deliver a huge boost to Somerset, say business leaders.

While not all reaction to the approval of Hinkley Point C has been positive, the government claims the area is set for a huge economic uplift.

Expected to generate £16billion of investment over the next decade, the Hinkley Point C development would create around 25,000 jobs during construction and 900 permanent jobs during operation.

The 430 acre site – reducing to 165 acres once operational – will generate enough electricity to power nearly 6 million homes once operational.

Building the power station will bring significant benefits for the UK economy, says the government:

• A massive investment by EDF Group and its fellow investors of around £16 billion to build the plant. UK companies could benefit from getting up to 57% of the work;

• 25,000 jobs created during construction, with 5,600 people employed on site at peak of construction, and 900 permanent jobs over 60 years of expected operation;

• Power provided for nearly 6 million homes, an area almost twice the size of London, with the site meeting around 7% of the UK’s electricity demand when running at full capacity;

• A clean, home-grown source of electricity, which will reduce the UK’s emissions by 9 million tonnes of CO2 per year, helping to meet climate targets.

Rupert Cox, CEO of the Somerset Chamber of Commerce, says: “This is a positive and encouraging step towards the development of Hinkley Point C and the vast opportunities this will bring for Somerset businesses and the county as a whole.”

“This agreement will act as a catalyst for EDF to be able to make their final investment decision. Providing this is positive, we can begin to engage with the preferred Tier 1 contractors to support their own supply chain development activity.”

“The Somerset Chamber has been working closely with EDF Energy to develop a robust supply chain that captures the capabilities of Somerset and South West businesses interested in getting involved in the project. Over 1,400 Somerset businesses have already registered on the Hinkley Supply Chain portal, not just from engineering and construction organisations but across a wide range of industries including professional services and food & drink.”

“Our on-going supply chain work enables us to develop relationships with the preferred top tier contractors, ensuring that they are aware of the huge pool of supply chain resource that they should be tapping into here in Somerset and making introductions that will bring economic investment and new jobs to the county.”