North West Wales

Tourism concern over housing for Wylfa Newydd workers

Wylfa Newydd Image copyright Horizon
Image caption Artist impression of the latest design of Wylfa Newydd

Tourism on Anglesey could be hit if thousands of nuclear power station construction workers are housed locally, an industry boss has warned.

A third consultation over the £10bn Wylfa Newydd project is taking place.

Up to 8,000 workers will build it, with 4,000 housed in a campus and the rest taking up 3% of local provision, developer Horizon Nuclear Power said.

Ahead of an event on Thursday, North Wales Tourism's Jim Jones warned against using holiday accommodation.

He said: "The Wylfa Newydd development is a huge investment into the economy of Anglesey and it has the potential to be a great catalyst project.

"But there is also a risk that, if thousands of workers are housed in holiday accommodation across the island, this could be a backward step for our tourism industry."

Horizon Nuclear Power hopes to submit a planning application, known as a development consent order, later this year.

When operational, Wylfa Newydd is expected to create 850 permanent jobs and should start generating power by 2025.

'Reduced impacts'

It is estimated the facility could be worth more than £20m a year in wages alone to the local economy throughout the 60-year life of the station.

It will have a capacity of at least 2,700 megawatts of electricity, enough power for about five million homes.

Spokesman Richard Foxhall said: "We are very aware of concerns in the accommodation sector and welcome further feedback on these during this period of consultation.

"However, we firmly believe that our refined proposals, which will see construction workers accommodated at one site rather than five, will be easier to manage and reduces possible impacts more widely across the island."

The company announced an accommodation strategy that involved housing up to 4,000 construction workers in a specially-built campus.

It hopes 2,000, a quarter of the total number, will be local residents commuting from home, while up to 3,000 will live in rental or tourist accommodation.

North Wales Tourism figures show the sector employs 4,000 people, generating £260m from the 1.5 million visitors each year.

Director Mr Jones wants Thursday's event to give businesses a chance to express concerns and agree a mandate about the project to express to the Welsh Government.

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