Skilled jobs on the way as two global firms choose West of England to open new bases

February 15, 2019

Two international industrial firms are to create around 130 highly-skilled jobs between them after selecting the West of England to expand their reach and plug into the region’s fast-growing energy sector.

French group Boccard has opened a nuclear centre of excellence in Bristol, which will be home to around 30 jobs. The office, in the Temple Quarter, is the French group’s latest investment in the UK and will work closely with its team at the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant, where it employs around 200 people.

Meanwhile Aberdeen-based mechanical and electrical firm EnerMech will bring 100 jobs to the region over the next three years by targeting the nuclear, industrial processing, refining, petrochemical, aviation, defence, transport and infrastructure sectors. It has set up an initial office in Portishead to drive the growth.

Boccard was established in France in 1918 and today remains a family-owned business. Boccard UK Ltd was formed in 2007 following the acquisition of Shell lubricants fluid management company. After establishing its first UK office based in Sale, Greater Manchester, it has continued to invest in the UK and expanded its operations into the engineering, manufacturing, construction and industrial maintenance sectors.

Boccard UK managing director Douglas McQueen said: “The new office is ideally situated next to some of our key customers, EDF Energy on the Nuclear New Build at Hinkley Point C, in Somerset, as well as other prime contractors and partners involved in the project.

“We are looking to establish a strong relationship with the National College for Nuclear Southern Hub to provide training and job opportunities within the region as well as sharing our own experience and expertise from working on the EPR reactor at Flamanville.

“We’re very grateful to the West of England Combined Authority – through its inward investment arm Invest Bristol & Bath – for its support and assistance in identifying a suitable location and for opening the doors to work alongside a variety of local businesses. In the future Boccard will look to strengthen ties with local businesses for its supply chain.”

West of England metro mayor Tim Bowles said Boccard UK’s arrival in Bristol created more opportunities for the city’s highly-skilled residents and to increase its supply chain activity – both nationally and globally.

“We’ve supported Boccard UK’s investment into our region by providing business intelligence, through Invest Bristol & Bath, including advice on property and relocation assistance for its staff,” he said.

“The West of England Combined Authority will continue to work closely with Boccard UK to support its growth and ambitions in the region.”

Boccard chief executive Bruno Boccard arrived from France to officially open the new office alongside Stuart Crooks, EDF managing director of Hinkley Point C, and Tim Bowles.

Boccard operates in 35 countries across the world, employing 3,500 people, while EnerMech employs 3,500 staff across 40 locations in the UK, Norway, the Middle East, Caspian, Asia, Africa, Australia and Americas.

The company, established 10 years ago, works on large scale projects across the oil and gas, LNG, renewables, defence, power, infrastructure and petrochemicals sectors and expects to grow revenues in 2018 to £430m, up from £361m in 2017.

Duncan Frame, EnerMech’s General Manager for the South West, said: “EnerMech has years of experience of working in the highly regulated offshore sector and there exists a number of logical entry points to many of the onshore high tech and broader industrial sectors which populate the Midlands and south of the UK.

“The disciplines and methodologies which have been fine tuned in the North Sea and global oil and gas hubs are transferrable to an onshore environment and I see this as a terrific opportunity to build on the EnerMech success story which is strongly founded on evolution and diversification.”

“We envisage building a significant team of competent, multi-skilled individuals with experience across multiple sectors in the next three to five years and will establish the necessary workshop, storage and testing infrastructure to be on the doorstep of and accessible to potential new clients.”

Pictured at the official opening of the Boccard Bristol office: From left, Corinne Matthews, New Nuclear Co-ordinator, Heart of the South West LEP; Stuart Crooks, Managing Director of Hinkley Point C; Douglas McQueen, of Boccard UK; Bruno Boccard, Chief Executive of Boccard; and West of England Mayor Tim Bowles

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