19/03/13

Commenting on the announcement that planning permission for EDF's nuclear power plant in Hinkley Point, Somerset, has been approved, Dr Adam Marshall, Director of Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

"British business is clear that nuclear power is a vital ingredient in the UK's long-term energy mix. Planning approval for Hinkley C is a major step in the search for energy security and a huge opportunity for local businesses in Somerset and beyond.

"While this announcement is positive, Britain's first new nuclear plant in nearly two decades is not a done deal yet. Planning permission alone does not mean the project will proceed; complex negotiations on energy pricing must also reach a successful conclusion. Whatever the financial deal reached, it must offer value for taxpayers and certainty for business energy users - who need clarity on their costs and on security of supply.

“Planning approval for Hinkley C is only one step in the much-needed upgrade of the UK's energy infrastructure. It must not be the only step taken - as without a comprehensive UK energy security strategy, our business competitiveness will be seriously diminished.”

Rupert Cox, Chief Executive of the Somerset Chamber of Commerce, said:

"This announcement sends a clear message that the UK’s new nuclear build programme is on track. Local businesses are keen to play their part in developing the supply chain for nuclear power, and the Chamber has been at the heart of this effort. Here in Somerset, more than 1,200 companies have taken the necessary steps to ensure that they are 'Hinkley ready'."

Ends 

Notes to editors:

ONS: http://ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/cpi/consumer-price-indices/february-2013/index.html

The BCC’s Budget Submission can be viewed here.

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The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) is the national voice of local business.

The BCC sits at the heart of a powerful nationwide network of Accredited Chambers of Commerce, serving over 100,000 businesses across the UK, which employ over five million people. For more information visit: www.britishchambers.org.uk