Cheshire and Warrington has long had fine credentials in the energy and clean growth sector.

According to the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)’s Industrial Strategy document 2019/20:

“Stanlow refinery in Ellesmere Port is at the heart of its traditional carbon economy, but the Protos Energy Park on the south bank of the River Mersey is showing the way in providing a mix of clean, green energy sources including wind and biomass.”

Also it reads: “There are emerging strengths around smart energy systems and hydrogen, with capacity for significant levels of hydrogen production and ongoing work to test the use of salt caverns in Cheshire for hydrogen storage.

“The University of Chester has established an energy centre at Thornton and The British Geological Survey has announced plans to establish a facility in the area which will be home to one of the largest research projects into the sub-surface in the world. This may help us to exploit potential geothermal heat opportunities in the south of the region around Crewe and the potential to store Hydrogen in non-salt sub-strata.”

And there’s more: “Cheshire and Warrington is home to the UK’s largest nuclear engineering services cluster, offering end-to-end nuclear supply chains from design through to decommissioning.

We have significant assets at Birchwood Park near Warrington, and Capenhurst Technology Park near Chester, with companies such as Wood and Urenco here. Our strong networks link us to the wider nuclear sector in the North West and North Wales.”

Advanced nuclear fuel facility lined up for Cheshire

So news just announced that a new uranium enrichment facility, which will support about 400 highly skilled jobs, is to be built in Cheshire is another investment that will help “cement the status of the North-West of England as a world leader in nuclear fuel production.”

The government is awarding £196m to Urenco to build a facility at Capenhurst which will produce fuel by 2031 that would be ready to export or use domestically and could power UK homes in the next decade.

Lots of people were quoted in the press release including Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and energy security secretary Claire Coutinho. But the most significant words in terms of the impact on the region came from closer to home.

Zara Hodgson, director of the University of Manchester’s Dalton Institute for nuclear research, said:

“North West of England is the home of the UK’s fuel production capability, and the Dalton Nuclear Institute celebrates this HMG (His Majesty’s Government) and Urenco partnership that will be a catalyst for nuclear skills here and across the UK supply chain. We look now towards to how we can support this important project through training and innovation.”

That was supported by Tom Greatrex, chief executive of the Nuclear Industry Association said: “Urenco at Capenhurst is at the very forefront of the UK’s capability, with this new facility bringing opportunities for the supply chain, new jobs and investment in the North West of England.”

TTE is the springboard

So who will build this facility and who will work there? The answer is construction workers and engineers and many will be locally sourced. Another one of Cheshire’s assets is TTE in Ellesmere Port. We have a well-deserved reputation for supplying the energy sector in the North West and across the UK with top quality recruits.

We are, of course, well used to receiving positive news on the energy sector in Cheshire, because of our national importance and the cluster of excellence that operates from here. So, this latest news from our neighbours in Capenhurst serves as yet another reason for our young students just embarking on their journey and to our more established cohort of learners looking to reskill and upskill to look forward with relish and also to realise they made the right choice coming to TTE.

What’s training worth if there are no jobs, especially locally, to move in to? It is also another boost for all those considering a career in construction and engineering and who are weighing up their options. It’s all joined up in Cheshire and we can help you realise you ambitions. So contact us today.

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