Somerset County Council innovation centre plan misses out on £1.5m Hinkley Point pot (From This is The West Country)
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Somerset County Council innovation centre plan misses out on £1.5m Hinkley Point pot
7:00pm Sunday 25th August 2013 in News
A PROJECT looking to cash in on the new nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point has failed to secure £1.5million of Government funding.
But the Government turned down the council’s application to the Regional Growth Fund, which SCC said was “heavily over-subscribed”.
Cllr David Hall, deputy leader of SCC, told the County Gazette: “The Government has chosen to put quite a lot of the money into the North of England and projects that will create short-term job prospects rather than sustainable economy projects, which is disappointing.
“However, this is just a bump and there are other funding outlets. We have also made a £3.2m bid to the European Regional Development Fund, which we should hear about by late September.
“We are also working with the Government to seek other funding, and a number of commercial investors.”
The project hopes to benefit from the proposed nuclear power plant, set to be built at Hinkley Point C.
But building work has paused because EDF Energy is still in talks over what the company can charge for the electricity it will generate.
Cllr Hall added: “This low-carbon project is unique. It’s the only one in the South West and, on the back of Hinkley Point C, we are confident it will attract a great deal of businesses to invest in Bridgwater. Hopefully people will re-locate and stay here, contributing to our growing economy.”
The council is underwriting the project through a contingency fund in its capital account. Cllr Hall cautioned: “It’s not coming from our revenue account, which is money from council tax.”
A planning application for the centre is expected to be submitted in the autumn.
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