Midlands Nuclear – creating jobs and attracting investment to the region

Date posted: June 21, 2023
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The Energy Research Accelerator and Midlands Engine are launching Midlands Nuclear in parliament today (21 June).
Midlands Nuclear is a body which aims to bring together the nuclear industry with suppliers, researchers and skills providers in the Midlands. The aim of Midlands Nuclear is to work on behalf of these stakeholders and the wider region, to make the case for increased and sustained investment into Nuclear and related industries in the Midlands.

The drive towards net zero and the increasing need for energy security requires complete transformation of the UK energy sector. To help meet these demands, the UK Government is signalling the need for a five-fold increase in the generation of electricity by nuclear energy alongside accelerated innovation on next generation nuclear technologies.

The launch event will take place at Portcullis House in Westminster at 1pm on Wednesday 21st June, where an audience of MPs, business people, academics and public sector specialists will hear from Andrew Bowie, Minister from Nuclear and Lord Ravensdale, the Chair of Midlands Nuclear who will explain why the Midlands and its businesses are well placed to take advantage of the development of new nuclear technologies.

Speaking about the launch of Midlands Nuclear, Lord Ravensdale, Chair of Midlands Nuclear, said: “With a number of significant nuclear projects now centred around the Midlands, including fusion energy and small modular reactors, the region has a fantastic opportunity to use its strong nuclear skills base to attract additional investment. The aim of Midlands Nuclear is to help expand investment in the nuclear sector in the Midlands.

“The growth of the nuclear industry in the region would be a catalyst for significant economic growth and job creation – it presents a unique opportunity to foster regional prosperity and secure a sustainable future with high-skilled jobs across the Midlands.”

Sir John Peace, Chairman of the Midlands Engine partnership, added: “I firmly believe that the growth of the nuclear industry in the Midlands will play a vital role in levelling up our region with other parts of the country. By harnessing the immense potential of the nuclear sector, we can create a powerful engine of economic growth, innovation, and job creation.

“Earlier this year we published our Midlands Nuclear report which identified tremendous opportunities for the region from the nuclear sector. Midlands Nuclear will help  to maximise the region’s potential, positioning the Midlands as a powerhouse of the nuclear industry. Through collaboration, investment, and a commitment to excellence, we can bridge the gaps and ensure that the Midlands shines as a beacon of prosperity in the UK.”

Professor Martin Freer, Director of the Energy Research Accelerator, commented: “The Midlands has a wealth of companies involved in the nuclear supply chain, along with tremendous strengths in research at our universities together with centres such as the Nuclear AMRC in Derby. Moreover, the region has been chosen as the home for the new STEP Fusion Power Plant at West Burton in North Nottinghamshire, which will create a huge number of new jobs.

“Midlands Nuclear is a technology neutral partnership, which will enable us to take advantage of the vast range of opportunities in the nuclear sector. The creation of Midlands Nuclear is a vital step for the region to establish its credentials as a hub of industry and research in nuclear energy, well placed to attract significant new investment into the region.”

The formation of Midlands Nuclear was one of seven recommendations from the Midlands Nuclear report, produced by the Midlands Engine and Energy Research Accelerator. The report reviewed national developments within nuclear and its related industries and deep-dives into the existing regional expertise and opportunities for growth in the sector. It recommends a series of interventions which Midlands Nuclear will focus on, namely:

  1. Supporting bids for nuclear manufacturing sites.
  2. Supporting the development of new nuclear generation in the Midlands and propose potential Midlands sites.
  3. Supporting the development of the fusion energy sector.
  4. Establishing a Midlands nuclear consortium to coordinate nuclear energy activities across the region.
  5. Supporting nuclear skills development to meet Midlands and national demand.
  6. Supporting the creation of nuclear test, validation and R&D facilities.
  7. Supporting the siting assessment of the UK’s long-term Geological Disposal Facility.

For more information about Midlands Nuclear visit www.midlandsnuclear.co.uk

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