French agreement to unlock jobs and investment in the South West

An agreement has been signed between economic development organisations in South West England and Normandy in France, which aims to create jobs, unlock opportunities and attract new investment to both regions.

The Memorandum of Understanding will see Nuclear South West and Nucleopolis work together to connect companies with £50bn worth of nuclear investments in South West England and an annual market in Normandy worth more than £1bn a year. The South West Nuclear Hub is a key partner of Nuclear South West, leading the nuclear innovation, research and skills (along with the National College for Nuclear Southern Hub) activities.

Serge Bouffard and Andy Bates sign the MoU at the World Nuclear Exhibition in Paris, June 2018

Nucleopolis, the nuclear division of Normandie Energies, brings together expertise of nearly 100 French organisations, covering research, industry and training, in the fields of energy, health and risk management. The nuclear sector employs around 28,000 people in Normandy.

“This agreement is hugely important to us as it helps build awareness of the South West as a destination for companies to invest in and do business with the nuclear supply chain,” said Matt Burley, Nuclear South West’s chairman.

“France is recognised as being one of the most advanced nuclear nations and Nucleopolis has a significant role to play in helping the industry to grow.

“We look forward to developing our relationship with Nucleopolis and working closely to bring opportunities to the South West and France.”

Networks Collaboration at World Nuclear Exhibition

The agreement follows more than 500 enquiries made to Nuclear South West and its partners during their recent attendance at the World Nuclear Exhibition in Paris. The team is working through these to establish further opportunities to build links with clusters in countries including Canada, Japan and South Africa.

“We welcome the opportunity to work with Nuclear South West in our mission to promote the economic development of the nuclear sector in Normandy,” said Serge Bouffard, Normandie Energies VP in charge of Nucleopolis.

“The collaboration enables companies to connect, build relationships and seek opportunities that benefit all of the French and British organisations involved.

“Nucleopolis is the ambassador of French nuclear excellence in Normandy. We will work with Nuclear South West to maintain and develop the sector for the benefit of our regions.”

As part of the agreement, the organisations will share knowledge and opportunities in the nuclear industry and encourage their respective members to explore opportunities to work together.

Nucleopolis to attend Nuclear South West Conference

Nucleopolis has also agreed to lead a business match-making session for companies interested in export and investment at Nuclear South West’s annual conference in Bristol on 19 September.

“It’s great to have Nucleopolis on board for our conference in September, and I am sure those who attend from both regions will see the benefits of this new partnership approach,” added Mr Burley.

The deal follows a report commissioned by NSW which reveals that the South West region is ideally placed to capitalise on economic opportunities worth £50bn to the UK economy. The research states that South West-based SMEs, large companies and training providers could supply £15bn worth of work to the nuclear sector.

The South West Nuclear Hub is co-hosting this conference next month in Bristol: find more information and register at

About Nuclear South West

Nuclear South West is a partnership of industry, academic and public sector, set up to champion the South West nuclear industry as the premier destination for investment, innovation and growth.

It is established and supported by the Heart of the South West, West of England and GFirst LEPs, with involvement from public sector and strategic organisations.

Research has shown that there are £50bn worth of opportunities in the nuclear industry within 75 miles of the South West region. The region has the expertise, ambition and vision - as well as a critical mass of thriving businesses - to act as a catalyst to drive economic productivity within the nuclear sector.

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