Fylde’s engineering and waste handling firms are being urged to gear up for a nuclear future now otherwise they might miss lucrative opportunities in the decades to come.
The call comes as the Government launches a £1.5m scheme to help businesses get set up to handle the stringent needs of the nuclear industry.
Fit For Nuclear (F4N), which was developed by the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre and delivered in partnership with the Manufacturing Advisory Service, is offering grants of around £10,000 to Fylde companies that want to meet industry standards and compete for work in civil nuclear.
More than 5,000 small and medium sized firms are needed to ensure the UK has the necessary capacity to meet its £60bn civil new build programme and the multi-billion pound decommissioning contracts that are already under way.
Mike Tynan, chief executive of the Nuclear AMRC said: “Smaller manufacturers have a vital role to play in civil nuclear, if they can meet the standards demanded by the industry’s top tier.
“To win work, Blackpool companies need to make sure they have the ability to meet safety, quality and cost standards, and can demonstrate that their specialist capabilities can deliver value to clients.
“We created Fit For Nuclear to help manufacturers close any gaps in performance, and this new funding will provide vital support for anyone taking the next steps and getting ready to compete for nuclear opportunities.”
The funding call will allow management teams to drive business improvements in areas, such as improved manufacturing processes, factory layout, bid writing, training plans and strategy.
Manufacturers can apply for F4N funding to support R&D projects to optimise production or develop new processes/products and can also access the Nuclear AMRC’s world-leading workshop capabilities in welding, metrology and design support.
Huw Jenkins from Fit For Nuclear said firms were needed for the supply chain for work at Heysham, Sellafield and Anglesy.
He said: “The area has a background in aerospace and nuclear so there must be many companies who could step up and qualify.
“There are generations worth of work at Sellafield and although the new reactors are a few years down the line this is the time to get ready to be part of it.”
All projects must be completed by March 31, 2016.
For further information, please visit www.fitfornuclear.co.uk or contact 0207 728 3026.