Somerset

Energy firm jobs hope as Somerset council pledges £1.6m

Artist’s impression of the Innovation Centre proposed to be built on the Bridgwater Gateway site in Somerset
Image caption The Innovation Centre has been proposed for the Bridgwater Gateway site

More than £1.6m is being spent by Somerset County Council to try to encourage energy companies to open offices in the area.

The authority claims up to 1,000 extra jobs could be attracted into the county by the funding.

It follows planning approval for French energy giant EDF to construct two new nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point.

The money includes plans to build an Innovation Centre near Bridgwater.

The council hopes this will attract hundreds of low-carbon energy projects to be based in the county.

'Solid foundation'

David Hall, deputy leader of the authority, said: "The Innovation Programme is about taking the opportunity that Hinkley Point C offers a step further.

"The planning decision gives the green light to our plans to create more than 1,000 supply chain jobs right here in Somerset.

"We want to create a solid foundation for businesses to continue to reap the rewards of working within the energy sector both during and post the construction of Hinkley Point C."

The Innovation Centre has been proposed for the Bridgwater Gateway site.

The council said it was now in negotiations with the government to try to secure extra money.

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