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Fenland MP to lobby Chatteris firm

MP Steve Barclay during a visit to Stainless Metalcraft at Chatteris
MP Steve Barclay during a visit to Stainless Metalcraft at Chatteris

Fenland MP Steve Barclay is to lobby ministers to ensure a Chatteris firm continues to benefit from a multi-billion pound government contract to build containers to deal with nuclear waste.

The move follows a visit by the North East Cambs MP to Stainless Metalcraft where he met with company bosses to discuss the company’s success in securing a £47 million government contract.

The contract is to build 1,100 specialist nuclear waste containers for a decommissioning project at the Sellafield nuclear processing site in Cumbria.

As a result the company, which is a specialist in its field and has previously produced bodies for MRI scanners and similar equipment, will look to increase its employees including raising the number of apprentices it takes on this year from two or three to 10.

Stainless Metalcraft is just one of two companies to have been awarded a contract in the first phase of the government’s allocated spend on decommissioning the nuclear power station. And it is the only British company to benefit.

The total contract worth over £1.6 billion will see around 40,000 of the specialist containers needed in the coming years for Sellafield and also for plans to decommission 19 other nuclear powers stations including Dounreay in Scotland.

Mr Barclay wants to ensure Stainless Metalcraft benefits from the next contract round too and plans to lobby relevant ministers to point out the benefits of awarding such lucrative contracts to a British company.

He said: “The benefits are many fold. This is Government money that is already allocated ready to spend and by allocating it to British firms it provides significant tax benefits to the Government – so it will be like recycling money into the country’s economy.

“The knock on effect of this amount of money being invested in our area will be huge. The jobs created will be long term because of the time required to fulfil the contract.”

Mr Barclay added: “This is a win win situation for the tax payer and for the Government. It is money that is already allocated for the decommissioning of Sellafield, so it makes sense that as much of the £1.6 billion planned spend as possible goes on contracts to a British firm like Stainless Metalcraft.

“The tax benefits are obvious, it will give a significant boost for the economic growth of this area. I have already started discussing with ministers how we can ensure that Stainless Metalcraft can now capitalise on the next round of funding having been one of only two companies to have won contracts in the first round.

“I am calling on both Cambridgeshire County Council and the Local Enterprise Partnership to step up and offer Stainless Metalcraft the support it needs to tap into the significant potential offered by this first contract so it can capitalise on the future government spend.”

The first contract will see Stainless Metalcraft produce waste containers at a volume of around two units per week over a 10 year period.

Included in the value of the £47 million contract is the purchase of advanced manufacturing equipment such as robotic welding to establish a world class manufacturing capability.

However, if it were to succeed in obtaining a further contract then it could spell up to 400 new jobs including 200 apprenticeships and massive investment in technology.

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