Gloucester’s biggest employer is set to move

One of Gloucester’s biggest employers, energy giant EDF, has revealed plans to downsize its operations in the county with a move to a new base.

More than 1,000 staff based at one of Gloucester’s biggest employers are set to move to a new base after EDF announced plans to close it 22-acre Barnwood headquarters.

The French-owned business said the move would begin in mid-2022 as part of its attempt to reposition itself in the face of a changing UK energy sector.

EDF took over what was British Energy in 2009 with the Gloucester operation continuing to be home to some of the nation’s leading nuclear scientists, engineers and support staff.

It has been helping to keep the nation’s lights on ever since.

‘While Barnwood has served us very well for the last 45 years, we all believe the time is now right to move on,’ said a statement from the company.

The changing nature of the UK energy sector means its Barnwood base will be ‘too big’. Its new site ‘will provide a newer and more appropriate working environment for our people’.

EDF currently has an estimated 1,200 employees and 300 agency staff and contractors at Brockworth. At the height of the pandemic, it managed with just 300 a day on the site.

By 2030, the company plans to move from operating eight nuclear power stations – providing 15 to 20 per cent of the country’s power – to just two operating stations: Sizewell B in Suffolk and Hinkley Point C in Somerset, providing nearer 10 per cent.

The company is also planning Sizewell C, an almost identical replica of Hinkley Point C, which could create thousands of skilled jobs and business opportunities and generate enough low-carbon power to supply over six million homes every year.

EDF said there was also significant work to be done defueling the seven Advanced Gas cooled Reactors, starting in 2022 when Hunterston B in Scotland and Hinkley Point B in Somerset end their power generation phase.

‘All of this work will be underpinned by vital technical support from the highly qualified teams working from EDF’s new base at Gloucester Business Park,’ said the statement.

EDF’s teams will relocate to Javelin House, and buildings at Charlton Court and Valiant Court on Gloucester Business Park from mid-2022.

By Andrew Merrell

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© SoGlos
Thursday 13 May 2021

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