Fylde MP welcomes Chancellor's support for Fylde nuclear jobs

Fylde MP Mark Menzies has welcomed a commitment from the Chancellor to support new opportunities in the local nuclear industry.

Wednesday, 3rd November 2021, 1:17 pm
Fylde MP Mark Menzies (fourth from left) recently met with officials from the US Embassy, Westinghouse management and Energy Minister Greg Hands to discuss the short-term challenges at Springfields

Mr Menzies spoke in the House of Commons yesterday asking the Government to back new jobs at Springfields and explore opportunities to diversify production at the site.

He said: “Springfields is the UK’s only civil nuclear manufacturing site and there are a range of potential opportunities to expand the work carried out there.

“The Chancellor was positive in his response and I’m pleased to hear he is ready and willing to work with myself and others to secure future investment in jobs and skills in Fylde. ”

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Mr Menzies is also backing planned changes to the way new nuclear power projects in the UK are financed, which be believed can be a boost for fuel manufacture at the Westinghouse

plant near Salwick.

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The Nuclear Energy (Finance) Bill is designed to open the door to a new generation of nuclear power plants. Mr Menzies believes it will mean the go ahead for a number of projects,

including a new reactors at Sizewell C, leading to new contracts for Springfields.

He said: “The Government is putting new nuclear at the heart of its net-zero energy policy.

“This change to the way new plants can be financed will make it easier to get these huge projects off the ground.

“That in turn means new business for Springfields.”

The new legislation will allow generators to receive income for plants before they begin supplying power, helping spread the enormous costs of bringing nuclear power plants online.

Mr Menzies said: “The upfront cost has always been a major sticking point in getting new nuclear schemes off the ground.

“A number of projects have stalled because of the spending involved. This will help to unstick the process, opening the door to a new generation of clean, reliable nuclear plants in Britain.”

The Government has committed £1.7 billion in the Budget to bring forward one major nuclear power scheme during this Parliament. More than £500m has been committed to support the

development of other projects.

Mr Menzies said: “I hope this means we will not only see Sizewell C confirmed but delivery of schemes like the proposed Westinghouse reactors at Wylfa in Anglesey.

“Each of these new plants is a potential source or work and revenue for Springfields and the chance to secure jobs for the long-term future.

“The Government has made clear the strategic importance of domestic nuclear fuel manufacture and Springfields has a vital role to play in the UK’s next generation of nuclear plants.”

While new power plants will be key to the long term future of Springfields, Mr Menzies remains focused on supporting the plant in the short term.

Alongside the budget the Government announced £75m of investment to protect nuclear fuels manufacturing in the United Kingdom between now and 2025.

Mr Menzies said: “I have always been of the view the nuclear industry has a bright future in the long-term but there are short term challenges as current reactors are taken offline.

“Springfields is the UKs only nuclear fuels manufacturing site and I welcome the Government has recognised its importance and delivered this investment.”