Richmondshire has been named as one of seven sites on the short list for a Rolls-Royce factory.
Junction 53, a site close to Scotch Corner – and the new Designer Outlet – could house the first of three factories being developed by the company to manufacture ‘heavy vessels’ for its Small Modular Reactor (SMR) power station.
This is the largest and most complex facility but construction will only begin once Rolls-Royce SMR receives the go-ahead to build a fleet of SMRs in the UK.
Junction 53 was picked from over 100 submissions from Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and development agencies which suggested sites across the UK where the Rolls-Royce SMR factories could be located. The other locations are: Sunderland, Newton Aycliffe, Deeside, Ferrybridge, Grimsby and Carlisle.
Richmondshire District Council worked with the York and North Yorkshire LEP on the Catterick submission.
“This is very exciting news for Richmondshire,” said District Council Leader, Councillor Angie Dale. “It would be a massive boost for the district bringing with it jobs, housing and investment in local businesses. This is cutting edge technology and will be inspiring to future Richmondshire generations. We are now looking forward to working with Rolls Royce in the hope we are chosen as the final location.”
Helen Simpson OBE, Chair of the York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership, added: “We are excited by today’s announcement that a site in Richmondshire has made it onto a short list for this major Rolls Royce initiative. The potential investment aligns with our ambitions for a carbon negative economy through advancements in clean energy generation.
“It could be transformative for the local economy and attract further investment into the wider region. It’s clear that the unique merits of the region have been recognised by the technical team at Rolls Royce and we look forward to working with them in the next phase of the process.”
Rolls-Royce SMR Chief Executive, Tom Samson, said: “The final location will come from the shortlist and will result in significant investment, long-term high-skilled jobs and will support the UK Government’s aspirations for levelling-up.”
Rolls-Royce SMR’s approach is a completely different way of building nuclear power stations, where 90% of the Rolls-Royce SMR built in factory conditions significantly reducing the timescales and project risk.