HJA has worked with Somerset County Council for over four years on measuring the economic impact of the construction and operation of the new Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, and developing plans to maximise its positive impact on the local economy. A significant project is the development of a Low Carbon Energy Innovation Centre, to help local SMEs to engage in the supply chain. Various funds were investigated by HJA, and a funding package compiled from local authority funds and ERDF Competitiveness funds.
HJA designed an innovation support project, comprising both an innovation centre and a programme of business support activities, and developed a comprehensive business plan for this. HJA helped to make the case for the County Council to invest in this project during a period of significant local authority budget cuts. HJA led the process of applying for and securing £3.2 million of ERDF funds, from first discussions through to completion of the contract and draw down of the funds.
As a consequence of HJA’s work with Somerset County Council an innovation centre is now being built that will support the involvement of local SMEs in the £16 billion project to build a new nuclear power station, and its ongoing operation. This will provide the focus for the creation of a business cluster that will serve both local and export markets in the new nuclear build sector.