Home » Potential factory could add £1.5bn to economy and thousands of jobs

Potential factory could add £1.5bn to economy and thousands of jobs

Kingmoor Park is one of four sites selected by Holtec Britain after 13 businesses and local authorities expressed interest earlier this year. 

If successful, Kingmoor Park will benefit from an initial investment of £1.3 billion, reflecting Holtec’s budget for construction.

Expected to generate thousands of jobs over the next 15 years, the 20-hectare factory is predicted to add about £1.5 billion to the local economy.

Neil McIntyre, managing director at Kingmoor Park, said: “Being shortlisted for Holtec Britain’s competition is a significant milestone for Kingmoor Park and for Cumbria.

“It promises substantial economic benefits, including job creation and increased local investment, while enhancing our reputation as a key growth hub.

“Hosting the SMR production site would drive infrastructure development, support global efforts for cleaner energy, and position both Kingmoor Park and the local region for future growth in the nuclear and energy sectors,” he said. 

By 2050, in accordance with the Government’s target, 24GW of nuclear capacity is expected – meeting nearly 25 per cent of the UK’s electricity needs.

The proposed factory is expected to yield 2-4 reactors yearly, each valued at £1-2 billion.

The factory itself, however, won’t handle nuclear fuel.

Professor Dame Julia King, a senior advisor at Holtec UK, said: “We were very pleased to receive 13 detailed responses from partners across the country backed by local MPs and leaders of Local and Combined Authorities.

“We have now chosen the four leading bids and in the next few months, I look forward to visiting all four locations and working with the team to assess the bids with a view to making a successful final selection.

“The impact on the local economy for the successful bidder will be game-changing.

“The construction phase is anticipated to directly generate around 3,600 jobs, while the manufacturing operations will sustain up to 400 jobs annually.

“The UK target of net zero by 2050 is one we must meet.

“Nuclear will play an important role in meeting that target, in the UK and globally. The Holtec Small Modular Reactor offers safe, reliable and clean baseload capacity based on existing proven technology.”

Cumbria LEP and Cumberland Council have both welcomed the announcement. 

Lord Inglewood, Chair of Cumbria LEP said: “It is excellent news that Kingmoor Park is one of the shortlisted sites and confirms that Cumbria is recognised as one of the most serious players in both clean energy and advanced manufacturing capabilities.

“Holtec Britain has recognised that we have the necessary skills and expertise to meet their requirements and we are prepared to make sure that we showcase these in the next stage of the process.”

Andrew Seekings, chief executive officer of Cumberland Council, said: “We are thrilled that Kingmoor Park has been shortlisted. The potential investment and creation of high-quality jobs would support regeneration and have a long-term positive impact on our communities.” 

 It is expected the winner will be announced in the Autumn.