BLACKBURN could be in line to benefit from part of a £525 million government investment in nuclear power.

The town is host to Assystem, the world’s second largest nuclear engineering firm, which says the investment boost will help to create new jobs and open up new career paths for young engineers.

Blackburn MP and shadow minister for communities and local government Kate Hollern says she hopes this could give the region a much-needed economic boost.

She said: “This investment is very encouraging for Blackburn, where Assystem has its UK headquarters and it sends a positive message to our young people about jobs and opportunities in the engineering sector that are right on their doorstep.”

The investment comes as part of the government’s ten-point plan for the so-called ‘green industrial revolution’ which aims to support the UK economy's transition away from the use of fossil fuels.

Assystem, based on Haslingden Road, employs hundreds of people in and around Blackburn and is currently engaged in major projects such as assisting with the construction of the new Sizewell C nuclear power plant on the Suffolk coast and the UK Small Modular Reactor programme, a series of mini-nuclear plants that the company says are more efficient at producing low carbon electricity.

These new projects should help to create opportunities not only for Assystem’s existing work force but also for young people whose prospects have been hit by the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Assystem’s UK Managing Director, Simon Barber said: “The news that nuclear power will have a key role in the UKs future low carbon energy mix is a major boost for jobs in the regions.

“The Small Modular Reactor programme in full flight will stimulate 40,000 regional UK jobs in manufacturing, construction and operation and Sizewell C will help provide 25,000 jobs opportunities across 2,500 companies in the UK.

“Nuclear projects are major energy infrastructure projects and Assystem is looking for the engineers, project managers, recruiters and graduates who are hungry for the opportunity to join us in building the UK’s green economy.”

The company is currently recruiting for a range of vacancies, many of them in Blackburn.

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