With Teesside at the centre of a new national energy blueprint, Cameron Gilmour of the Sizewell C Consortium and David Bond, Sheffield Forgemasters CEO, discuss a new age of British reindustrialisation 


Industries and businesses across Britain, and especially in the north of England, have been through tough times over the last couple of years.

Be it the pandemic, stymied business operations or sustained increases in our cost of living – the challenges in front of all of us are aplenty right now.

The industries we represent – British nuclear, and British steel – are no different.

One of us writes as the CEO of Sheffield Forgemasters, a pivotal industry woven into the historical, cultural and economic fabric of the north of England.

Read more: How many nuclear power plants are there in the UK?

The other on behalf of the Sizewell C Consortium, a body breathing new life into an industry with a proud heritage and which is pivotal to help the UK get to net zero – and, more important than ever right now, to shore up our long-term energy security.

Steel and nuclear have always had ties – from working together to deliver the world’s first operational civil nuclear power station at Calder Hall in the 1950s, right up to the work ongoing at Hinkley Point C in Somerset today.

Now, as Britain looks towards its future, we want to strengthen these ties. The Government’s recent energy security strategy represented a crucial moment for the nuclear industry, with a commitment to build 24GW of nuclear capacity by 2050. By ensuring a fleet of new EPR reactors are built with British steel, this commitment can be one not just to British nuclear, but to British steel, British manufacturing, British skills, and the British people.

Our two industries share the same resilience and optimism about our future role in helping Britain to get to net zero and securing our energy security. Just as we share the same commitment to create the high-skilled jobs, skills and opportunities that will fuel the clean, regional growth we need to practically deliver in every part of the North of England.

That’s led us to formally join forces. Sheffield Forgemasters has now joined the Sizewell C Consortium, and hundreds of other businesses urging the country to get on with new nuclear.

Sheffield Forgemasters also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Sizewell C project itself. The agreement states that Sizewell C, should it get the go ahead, will use Sheffield Forgemasters as a supplier for the project.

Sizewell C is an essential step towards the bright future of British nuclear that the Government has envisioned in its energy strategy. This partnership, and agreement, is about making sure British steel travels with British nuclear on that journey, towards a future where both industries can thrive.

As the only ready-to-go project, Sizewell C is vital to ensuring the continuity for the UK’s nuclear fleet, including for the 70,000 workers currently operating in the supply chain outside of London and the South East. Through this partnership, both industries can help to reinvest and rebuild the regions of the country that need it most, ushering in a new generation of jobs and investment.

The announcement builds on MoU commitments the Sizewell C Consortium has already made in the north of England, including an agreement worth £2.5 billion with suppliers.

These benefits then transcend the nuclear industry – and reach into the wider benefits of clean growth that we are already starting to see across the region. Many green technologies are facilitated by nuclear. That includes renewables, alongside clean technologies like hydrogen and Direct Air Capture, all of which will be needed to meet the UK’s climate targets and commitments to get to net zero by 2050. By supporting the UK’s steel sector, we are also helping them on their journey towards green steel.

Both steel and nuclear can help to set the scene for new age of British reindustrialisation; offering tangible benefits to the entire country. It is about jobs and skills, clean growth, and energy and business security.

That is the future our industries are calling for together and the first step is the approval of Sizewell C.


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