The Nuclear Opportunity

This report was developed for Nuclear South West to understand what actions are necessary to maximise the economic value of nuclear to the area. It also focuses on the supply chain to aid an understanding of the opportunities and support mechanisms that are in place to help companies win work in the nuclear industry.

Nuclear South West

Nuclear SW – delivering £50 Billion of nuclear opportunities to the South West business community and workforce over the next decade.

HotSW LEP is working hard to ensure that the catalyst of the first new nuclear build project in the UK for a generation at Hinkley Point C in Somerset, provides a lasting sustainable economic legacy for the HotSW area and beyond.

The current construction at Hinkley is estimated to cost in excess of £20billion, with a significant proportion of that investment potentially being spent within the UK and the South West. The LEP is not funding any of this cost, and the area is set to benefit from the employment, skills and supply chain opportunities that Europe’s largest project will bring.

There is a significant nuclear sector cluster group – Nuclear South West. which is a partnership of Industry, academia, skills, business support and public sector stakeholders. The Cluster Aims to secure the benefits of this investment to the local business & resident community, as well as maximising the benefits from the wider sector in terms of the whole civil nuclear life-cycle as well as nuclear defence. Nuclear South West is capitalising on the South West’s unparalleled strength and potential in the global nuclear industry; and generating transformational economic benefits to the UK and regional business community. The facts and figures are:

  • There will be at least £50billion worth of contracts available to south west companies across 15 projects over the next 20 years in new build, decommissioning and defence.
  • There are over 180 nuclear companies and organisations in the area, with over 8,000 highly skilled workers;
  • 70% of the UK’s low carbon electricity comes from nuclear power stations; and two new ones are being built at Hinkley Point – creating 25,000 new jobs and £100m to the local economy;
  • Former SW nuclear power stations are being de-commissioned with parts of their estates used for the creation of new skills development and business   / technology parks (Berkeley in Gloucester and Winfrith in Dorset)
  • • There’s a £1.8bn nuclear defence programme at Devonport in Plymouth; The LEP has collaborated with the West of England Combined Authority and the Welsh Government to fund a three year Hinkley Supply Chain Support Service.


We have an impressive suite of assets to support this ambition which includes the following activity specifically supported by investments secured by the HOTSW LEP:


Additionally there are other key initiatives across the wider SW, which add value to and compliment the wider offer, which include:


The partnership includes HotSW LEP, West of England Combined Authority, Dorset LEP and Gloucester First LEP.

Nuclear SW is charged to develop a programme of activity to ensure that business and the workforce have the capability and skills that are required at the right time.

Across the South West economic landscape we recognise the significance of the nuclear sector and its supply chain, and the important role it plays in providing clean energy. We are committed to working collaboratively to ensure we maximise the benefit to UK plc from predicted advanced engineering growth in the nuclear sector. We have shared ideas, concepts, and proposals that support individual plans developed in our Local Industrial Strategies.

We see significant benefit and potential for our part of the world to be at the very forefront of developments in this important global sector.

The evidence for this was highlighted in a report we commissioned in 2018 the link to which is below. This was also reinforced by the conclusions of the South West and Wales Science and Innovation Audit that highlighted our world class nuclear industrial expertise.

Why the region is at the forefront of advanced nuclear technologies including fusion is explained in this video.

Nuclear SW will market these activities coherently and continue to shape an environment that encourages greater inward investment from key companies; and further develops the local supply chain while making sure that the innovation, research and development needs can be delivered locally; as well as providing a skilled workforce.

Recent activity includes:

  • Matt Burley, Director with PwC – Chair of Nuclear South West
  • Stefan Cecchini, Framatome UK Business Development Manager – Vice Chair
    • The LEP is working with Government and Industry via the to secure additional funding to support SW and UK businesses to win valuable engineering contracts on HPC.
  • Attended the 2018 World Nuclear Event in Paris, where contacts were made with over 100 overseas businesses looking to collaborate with SW based SME’s and preparations are well in hand for WNE2020
  • Secure collaborations formed with overseas Nuclear Clusters in France, US and China
  • Working collaboratively with other UK Nuclear Clusters on joint marketing and events including the UK Civil Nuclear Showcase 2020
  • Heart of the South West LEP partnering with West of England Combined Authority and the Welsh Government to invest in an HPC Supply Chain support service. Of which the significant highlights have been
    • Engaged with over 30 Tier 1 contractors to the HPC project
    • Over 90 work packages identified and assessed
    • £200 Million opportunity pipeline over the next 6 months
    • Over 2000 companies matched across the region to the opportunities
    • Over 300 companies have started the support journey through the programme
    • 50 companies have received intensive support
    • 12 companies have been supported to invest in the region

More details can be found in the annual report included with relevant documents below.

  • Heart of the South West LEP investing in a Skills for Nuclear Coordinator, providing an innovative approach to delivering the skills requirement to ensure that local people gain jobs on the project.
  • Three LEP collaboration together with a number of Local Authorities to ensure that inward investment opportunities are maximised.
  • High profile presence at the 2020 Department for International Trade Civil Nuclear Showcase.
  • 200 attendees at NSW19 Showcase and Conference held in Somerset – click on the link to the video for an overview of the event.

We will post regular updates here -also visit for news of upcoming events, and for more detail about specific projects

Here is the link

The LEP’s New Nuclear Coordinator is Corinne Matthews, and she can be contacted by phone or email –  07881 218670

Related Documents:

Power in numbers

NSW power in numbers diagram

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    David Ralph

    Chief Executive

    David Ralph started as Chief Executive of Heart of South West LEP at the beginning of June 2018. Previously, he had spent 5 years as CEO of the Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire (D2N2) LEP from 2013 where he oversaw the development of the D2N2 Strategic Economic Plan and sector strategies, 3 Growth Deals with HM Government to deliver a £1billion capital investment programme, securing and implementing £200m ESIF programme, the Derby and Nottingham Enterprise Zone, the D2N2 Skills Deal and Time for Innovation programme, community fund and led the executive team to develop the HS2 East Midlands hub. He was also closely involved in the proposed North Midlands Devolution Deal and one of the key architects in establishing the Midlands Engine, chairing the officer steering group. Whilst in this role David was a NED of the Nottingham Enterprise Zone, and Marketing NG, the Outer Estates Foundation and a Governor of Nottingham College and on the advisory Board of Nottingham Business School.

    Before the East Midlands, David was CEO of the Have Gateway Partnership working closely with local stakeholders including the ports of Felixstowe, Harwich and Ipswich and BT Adadastral Park across Suffolk and Essex and prior to that was Chief Exec of the Barton Hill New Deal for Communities programme in Bristol and the Nelm Development Trust in Norwich.

    David is a keen sailor, walker and trail runner.