The Council is providing support for businesses within the Sedgemoor area to help them capitalise on the opportunities the Hinkley Point C development provides. Enhancements have also been made to Bridgwater town centre to increase its appeal as a shopping destination. Planning permission has been granted for a number of commercial developments that will help to encourage a thriving local supply chain for the nuclear development and will facilitate movement towards a high value, knowledge based economy beyond the construction of Hinkley Point C. Please note that the documents on this page may not comply with WCAG 2.1 AA standards.

Support for businesses

Funding from EDF Energy has enabled the Council to provide grant funding to businesses to help them capitalise on the opportunities presented by the Hinkley Point C development or to mitigate any potential impacts associated with the development:

  • Suppliers’ Support Grant: grants of up to £5,000 are available to enable businesses to meet or better fulfil the requirements to become part of the Hinkley Point C supply chain. To apply, please fill in the Suppliers’ Grant Fund application form (PDF 292KB)
  • HGV Affected Businesses Fund: grants of up to £5,000 were available for businesses affected by an increase in Hinkley Point C related traffic to help them respond to any challenges they may have experienced as a result. This fund is now closed to new applications.

The Council has also used funding from EDF Energy to support businesses through a number of mechanisms:

  • Supporting the Bridgwater Chamber of Commerce to deliver an initiative to help businesses get involved with the indirect supply chain for Hinkley Point C
  • Supporting the Bridgwater Chamber of Commerce to deliver networking events and updates relating to Hinkley Point C, to the local business community
  • Contributing to the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership’s programme to encourage inward investment
  • Business mentoring

More information on the Hinkley Point C Supply Chain can be found on the Hinkley Supply Chain website.

Town Centre Improvements

Bridgwater is the closest retail and service centre to Hinkley Point C and is therefore well placed to capitalise on the commercial opportunities which are expected to arise from the development.

Funding from EDF Energy has been used to increase the appeal of the town as a shopping destination. This has included physical enhancements to areas that act as a focal point for the small business community, such as Fore Street and the High Street and the lighting of the town bridge, as well as the wider town centre.

The town centre has been connected to the ‘England Coast Path’ route, through signage and marketing. It is envisaged that this will bring additional income into the town from tourism.

Support has been provided for the town’s existing events. And an additional Summertime event, known as the Quayside Festival, is being run over a four year period to encourage people to visit the town.

Business Parks

In the past few years, the Council has released a considerable amount of land for employment uses to create a number of commercial developments, such as the ‘Bridgwater Gateway’ and the ‘Somerset Energy and Innovation Centre’.

These business developments will serve as suitable spaces for the location and expansion of local businesses wishing to become involved in the Hinkley Point C supply chain and will attract businesses from outside the area, bringing investment and creating employment.

By creating an environment which enables businesses related to the energy and environmental and technological sectors to co-locate, these developments have the potential to accelerate the move to a more dynamic and entrepreneurial economy, which can be sustained beyond the construction of Hinkley Point C. More details of these developments can be found at these links:

  • Bridgwater Gateway (in development). The site covers 100 acres and will deliver a mixture of office and industrial use specifically for businesses involved in the Hinkley Point C supply chain. The site has excellent transport links as it is situated close to the A38 and J24 of the M5. More information is available at Bridgwater Gateway.
  • Somerset Energy and Innovation Centre, Bristol Road (in operation). The centre houses approximately 2,400 square metres of office space and a team of specialists is available to offer advice to businesses over a range of areas, including innovation and design, marketing and specific support regarding the Hinkley Point C supply chain. More information is available at Somerset Energy and Innovation Centre.

Analysis of the socio-economic benefits

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has produced a report, which details the benefits of the project and how they will be delivered. The plan can be viewed here: Hinkley Point C – Wider Benefits Realisation Plan (2018) (PDF 525.36KB)

EDF produce an annual report setting out the progress being made towards their targets for socio-economic benefit, which can be viewed here: Realising the Socio-Economic Benefits.

Last reviewed: January 11, 2024 by Jenny

Next review due: July 11, 2024

Back to top