Sunderland shortlisted for potential site of Rolls-Royce nuclear factory

Rolls-Royce has announced that Sunderland has been shortlisted as a potential site for a new nuclear factory which will create 200 jobs.

The new factory will be the first Rolls-Royce site to manufacture the ‘heavy vessels’ for its Small Modular Reactor (SMR) power station.

Sunderland is one of three North East sites which were picked from over 100 submissions from Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and development agencies.

A total of 200 jobs are set to be created and the factory is expected to be around 23,000 square metres in size – equivalent to three football pitches.

Sunderland has been shortlisted for the new nuclear factory.

Construction will begin once Rolls-Royce SMR receives the go-ahead to build a fleet of SMRs in the UK.

The locations of the final shortlisted sites include:

North East – IAMP Sunderland

Forrest Park Newton Aycliffe

North Yorkshire – Catterick 53, Richmond

Wales – Gateway, Deeside

Yorkshire - Ferrybridge

Greater Lincolnshire - Grimsby & Pioneer Park, Stallingborough

Cumbria – Kingmoor Park, Carlisle

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Rolls-Royce SMR Chief Executive, Tom Samson, said: “I would like to thank everyone who sent in a submission suggesting locations in their region for the first Rolls-Royce SMR factory.

"The response was fantastic and shows the ambition and appetite of the UK to build and operate a fleet of SMRs which will provide affordable, low-carbon electricity for generations to come.

“The final location will come from the shortlist and will result in significant investment, long-term high-skilled jobs and will support the UK Government’s aspirations for levelling-up. Today’s announcement is another example of the pace of our project and why Rolls-Royce SMR is the UK’s domestic nuclear energy champion.”

The new factory will cost around £100 to £200 million and will create long-term high-skilled jobs.

Secretary of State for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP, said: “This is fantastic news for Sunderland, North Yorkshire, Deeside, Lincolnshire and Carlisle which, if these SMRs go ahead, could be at the forefront of manufacturing components for this British-made tech.

“Backed by £210m, SMRs have the potential to provide quicker and cheaper low-carbon nuclear power, and today’s announcement underlines the potential for new jobs around the country created by embracing this new technology.”