There is an exciting opportunity for the Fusion project to come to Gloucestershire and the bid that includes our county is called the Severn Edge Bid. This local bid has the full support of GFirst LEP and the Western Gateway as it is also a fantastic opportunity for the local economy. Nuclear Fusion is the chance to develop clean green energy (without the nuclear waste of fission) so is hugely important in tackling climate change.
The Severn Edge Bid is now in the last five in the UK. You can read much more about it below and if you feel able, please click on the following link to pledge your support for the bid https://wg-severnedge.co.uk/
Hazlewoods Partner, Chair of GFirst LEP and Western Gateway Board member
Western Gateway’s Fusion Bid gets enthusiastic community support
Local communities close to the potential sites of a proposed £220 million prototype fusion plant have given an enthusiastic response to a bid by the Western Gateway Partnership and supported by GFirst LEP.
The plant is part of a government programme for the UK to be the first in the world to prove the commercial viability of fusion which aims to recreate the reaction that takes place within the Sun on earth to produce almost unlimited energy.
A senior team of fusion experts from the UK Atomic Energy Authority’s STEP (Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production) programme came to Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire to see the potential sites at the two decommissioned nuclear plants at Berkeley and Oldbury.
Over a week, nearly 400 people attended drop-in information sessions on the bid at Oldbury-on-Severn, Berkeley and Thornbury as well as an online forum.
Welcoming the UKAEA team at Berkeley on the first day of their visit, Mark Hawthorne, Leader of Gloucestershire County Council and Western Gateway partnership board member, commented: “Sixty-six years ago on this site, the early pioneers of the nuclear power began construction of the Berkeley Nuclear Power Station, and in 1961 Berkeley Nuclear Laboratories were opened – between them employing 750 people.
“Nuclear is in our DNA – it’s part of our county’s rich history and we want to be part of that too. Not for us, but for thousands of young people who like I was can come and be inspired, can come and learn, can come and find their future and be the next pioneers in this extraordinary story”.
Cllr Toby Savage, Vice-Chair of the Western Gateway Partnership and Leader of South Gloucestershire Council, said: “It’s been great to see such a fantastic response from local residents. We really value the comments and support we’ve received for our bid to bring the UK’s best hope of developing clean, green fusion energy for the country to our sites in Oldbury and Berkeley. We believe that our area offers the best possible site for the government’s world leading programme which would bring billions of pounds of investment to the area alongside supporting over 30,000 jobs for people on both sides of the Severn. If you’d like to help us in this bid, please go to the Western Gateway and register your support.”
Ruth Dooley, GFirst LEP Chair, said: “GFirst LEP welcomes and fully supports the bid at the Severn Estuary which could be home to the UK’s first prototype Fusion energy plant. The LEP is committed to finding greener and more sustainable energy options for Gloucestershire.”
The Western Gateway Severn Edge bid has reached the final five in the UK selection process for the prototype plant with a decision from government on the successful bid due late this year.
The Western Gateway partnership represents the economic powerhouse of South Wales and Western England, stretching from Swansea to Swindon. The partnership brings together business with academia and research alongside local authorities and governments on both sides of the Severn to tackle shared problems and level up communities.
The message below is from Katherine Bennett CBE, Chair of the Western Gateway
“Bringing fusion to Severn Edge would deliver a significant and long-lasting economic uplift to the Western Gateway by:
- Creating 31,000 job opportunities, equating to 1 in every 100 jobs across the region
- Generating £2.8 billion in gross value added (GVA) to the local economy over the development and construction phases
- Level up communities in both England and Wales at risk of being left behind, as the only STEP bid to bridge two UK countries
- Establishing a flagship project for the UK in the Western Gateway, which will drive inward investment across the region
- Reducing the UK’s reliance on fossil fuel and creating a centre for excellence for the green energy transition
- Establishing the Western Gateway as a global leader in green energy innovation – creating, attracting and retaining fresh talent in the region
You can support our bid by following these 4 steps:
- Register your support on www.western-gateway.co.uk/severnedge to receive updates about the bid and how can you help
- Follow the Western Gateway on Twitter (@WesternGateway_) and LinkedIn (Western Gateway)
- Raise awareness of the Severn Edge bid by sharing our social media posts with your network or creating your own
- Speak to your network about the various opportunities that Severn Edge will bring to the Western Gateway
Together we can bring fusion to Severn Edge – thank you for your support.”