BLACKBURN engineering company Assystem is supporting a campaign that is says will provide up to 25,000 jobs across the UK constructing and supplying a new nuclear power station.

The proposed £20 billion Sizewell C plant will be on the Suffolk coast, however supplying the construction and maintenance of the station could help create new jobs as far a field as Blackburn, Sunderland, Whitehaven, Bristol and Derby.

As such Assystem is one of 32 companies and organisations which make up a consortium calling on the government to back the move.

Business unit director David Price said: “Assystem is delighted to join the Sizewell C Consortium, a proposal that can guarantee jobs right here in the UK and particularly the regions where we operate in the North West, North East, East Midlands and South West, as well as supporting a low carbon energy mix to help us meet Net Zero by 2050.”

The consortium say that their plan would involve signing a memorandum of understanding with regions across the UK to guarantee British jobs and investment in the building of Sizewell C.

This understanding would see 70% of the plant’s contracts awarded to British based companies and could set the UK on course for a green recovery plan from the economic damage wrought by the coronavirus pandemic.

They hope that the plant will provide enough energy to power six million homes.

Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council executive member for growth and development Councillor Phil Riley welcomed the move.

He said: "“Assystem is a leading international business with its UK headquarter in Blackburn.

"The presence of Assystem brings many benefits to the borough both in terms of jobs and business growth so this new opportunity is welcome news.

"We fully support the Assystem involved consortium in securing his new opportunity.”

However, opposition groups, including Stop Sizewell C and Together Against Sizewell C, have continued to oppose the plans over fear of the damaging impact on the environment and local wildlife and arguing that a new nuclear power station will not help the government meet its net-zero targets.

Dr Dan Poulter MP, who opposes the development, said: “From a practical perspective, I am not overly enthusiastic about nuclear power and feel it is a necessary evil.”

He added: “I don’t feel there is adequate mitigation in the plans to deal with the impact Sizewell C will have on a beautiful stretch of our coast, the habitats we have there and the species which live there, and the impact on that part of Suffolk.”