Somerset construction boost to be powered by Hinkley Point

PUBLISHED: 11:00 17 February 2017

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A new nuclear reactor at Hinkley Point is set to power a construction boom in Somerset and the South West, with ‘huge opportunity’ for businesses, contractors and tradesmen to cash in on increased demand.

Experts believe the region will boast the fastest growing construction industry, bucking the national trend thanks to the infrastructure required at the new Hinkley C power plant, near Bridgwater – which will be music to the ears of North Somerset’s construction firms.

Construction forecaster Hewes & Associates believes Hinkley C will generate a £500million boost to the industry in the South West, while the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) says more than 20,000 construction jobs will be created in the region by 2021.

The industry is expected to grow by 1.3 per cent in the coming year, meaning the outlook in the South West is rosy compared to the rest of Britain, with all but two other regions – the North West and Yorkshire and the Humber – facing a decline in construction.

Traditional trades like carpentry, plastering and bricklaying are set for a resurgence in the area, with more than 1,000 of each required to meet increasing construction demand, according to CITB.

But Hewes & Associates report the private housing construction industry in the area may have peaked, with demand in the coming years expected to fall short of the levels which has sparked an 85 per cent growth in house building since 2012.

The forecasters also predict construction workers flocking to Hinkley Point to capitalise on the increased demand could lead to a labour shortage in Weston and North Somerset.

CITB partnerships manager Leif Tarry said: “The figures show that the outlook in the region is one of stability and huge opportunity.

“CITB is working with contractors, colleges and local enterprise to facilitate job opportunities in the South West.

“With major projects like Hinkley, there’s never been a better time to get into construction.”

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