French connection could generate cross-Channel nuclear sector boost for Swindon firms

August 13, 2018

Swindon firms operating in the nuclear sector could benefit from an agreement between industry organisations in South West England and Normandy in France which aims to create jobs, unlock opportunities and attract new investment to both regions.

The memorandum of understanding between Nuclear South West and Nucleopolis potentially connects companies with £50bn worth of nuclear business in South West England and a market in Normandy worth more than £1bn a year. 

Nucleopolis, the nuclear division of Normandie Energies, brings together the expertise of nearly 100 French organisations covering research, industry and training in the fields of energy, health and risk management. The nuclear sector employs around 28,000 people in Normandy.

Nuclear South West chairman Matt Burley said: “This agreement is hugely important to us as it helps build awareness of the South West as a destination for companies to invest in and do business with the nuclear supply chain.

“France is recognised as being one of the most advanced nuclear nations and Nucleopolis has a significant role to play in helping the industry to grow.

“We look forward to developing our relationship with Nucleopolis and working closely to bring opportunities to the South West and France.”

Normandie Energies VP in charge of Nucleopolis Serge Bouffard added: “We welcome the opportunity to work with Nuclear South West in our mission to promote the economic development of the nuclear sector in Normandy,” said

“The collaboration enables companies to connect, build relationships and seek opportunities that benefit all of the French and British organisations involved.

“Nucleopolis is the ambassador of French nuclear excellence in Normandy. We will work with Nuclear South West to maintain and develop the sector for the benefit of our regions.”  

As part of the agreement, the organisations will share knowledge and opportunities in the nuclear industry and encourage their respective members to explore opportunities to work together.

Nucleopolis has also agreed to lead a business match-making session for companies interested in export and investment at Nuclear South West’s annual conference in Bristol on September 19.

The agreement follows Nuclear South West’s recent attendance at the World Nuclear Exhibition in Paris, where it received more than 500 inquiries.

The team is working through these to establish further opportunities to build links with clusters in countries including Canada, Japan and South Africa.

A report recently commissioned by Nuclear South West revealed that the South West region is ideally placed to capitalise on economic opportunities worth £50bn to the UK economy linked to the nuclear sector.

Business links between the South West and France in nuclear are already strong thanks to the £20bn Hinkley Point C plant being developed by French power giant EDF.

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