Nuclear boost for builders

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NORTH East construction firms will benefit from a £2billion cashpot if the development of the proposed nuclear plant goes ahead.

According to a new report called Nuclear New Build Employment Scenarios, commissioned by CITB-ConstructionSkills, output in the region is likely to more than double between 2016 and 2017 as the project gets under way.

And by 2020 it could be over three times its 2010 level.

The Government has identified Hartlepool as one of eight sites suitable for building the next generation of nuclear reactors, presenting the region’s construction industry with a significant opportunity.

Steve Housden, sector strategy manager for CITB-ConstructionSkills in the North East, said: “The New Nuclear Build project could breathe new life into the local construction industry but, to benefit and meet the demands of the project, firms need to ensure they have the right skills.

“If the programme was to go ahead, 19 per cent of all building envelope specialists in the North East would be projected to be working on the Nuclear New Build programme during 2018, which could cause shortages in other areas.

“Safety considerations are far more prominent and complex than in other industries and need to be fully understood.

“Therefore it is vital that North East construction contractors in the bidding run for the New Nuclear Build programme, work alongside us from the outset.”