Assystem, the world’s third largest nuclear engineering firm with UK headquarters in Blackburn, Lancashire has become an official partner in the Northern Powerhouse Partner Programme.

The announcement, which coincides with the inaugural Northern Powerhouse summit in Rotherham on Friday 13th September, means that Assystem will join many high-profile businesses in promoting the strategic and economic value of the north with continued investment in the region and a particular focus on education and skills development, enterprise and innovation.

Assystem is at the forefront of a number of opportunities in the nuclear industry that will boost the northern economy, in particular the small modular reactor programme (UK SMR), led by Rolls-Royce that Assystem is a partner in. If progressed, this new generation of innovative reactors will bring considerable economic benefits to the north through job creation and skills development required at a number of ex-nuclear sites where SMRs have been proposed across the north.

Globally Assystem has 5,700 employees and UK sites in Blackburn, Sunderland, Westlakes, Bristol and Derby. It is involved in the development of nuclear programmes abroad as well as in the UK at Hinkley Point C, that whilst in Somerset, is also bringing jobs to Blackburn.

Assystem’s engineers are also at the forefront of developments in nuclear fusion, with a team of scientists based in Sunderland that are currently supporting the creation of the world’s largest fusion prototype, ITER, in France as well as UK experiments run by the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) in Oxfordshire.

In addition to this, in Blackburn Assystem has an expert team of digital engineers who are leading the way in their development and use of industry 4.0 technology that will revolutionise the safety and efficiency of maintenance at our nuclear sites.

Tom Jones, Vice President International Business Development, Assystem said:
“Much of our workforce is based in the North of England as well as our UK headquarters, so we have a major interest in helping the economy of the north to grow. As the UK now looks to nuclear power to help it meet its net zero carbon emissions targets by 2050, the industry needs young people to embark on STEM subjects and careers in nuclear engineering to fill the skills gap.”

“Partnering with Northern Powerhouse will give us the opportunity to raise awareness of the opportunities that the nuclear industry offers, in reducing carbon emissions and providing jobs to the North of England.”

Minister for the Northern Powerhouse, the Rt Hon Jake Berry MP said:
“Assystem is firmly established at the forefront of innovation in the global nuclear industry and it’s wonderful to see them join our ever expanding network of over 300 partners and build on our record £320.9 million Local Growth Fund investment across Lancashire.

“This pioneering nuclear engineering firm is well placed to support our commitment to level up our regions and ensure the Northern Powerhouse can take advantage of the global opportunities that come with our departure from the EU on 31 October; I welcome their addition to the partner programme.”