Metalcraft celebrates opening of its new production hub as part of £47 million contract

Martin Chown, supply chain director at Sellafield, Austen Adams, MD of Metalcraft, and Ron Gorham, h

Martin Chown, supply chain director at Sellafield, Austen Adams, MD of Metalcraft, and Ron Gorham, head of supply chain optimisation at NDA, open the new building at Metalcraft, Chatteris. - Credit: Archant

Fenland nuclear decommissioning expert Metalcraft is celebrating after cutting the ribbon on its new 1,600 square metre production hub.

Chatteris-based Metalcraft, which plays a key role in the decommissioning of nuclear waste containers, build the extension after winning a £47 million contract to produce boxes to store waste from Sellafield’s Pile Fuel Cladding Silos.

The contract also saw 17 apprentices hired and £2 million invested into buying equipment and tools for the new site.

Austen Adams, managing director of Stainless Metalcraft, was joined by Ron Gorham, head of supply chain optimisation at the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and Martin Chown, supply chain director at Sellafield, in opening the new site yesterday (November 30).

Mr Adams said: “The decommissioning of the UK’s nuclear legacy is a challenging task, and we’re delighted that Sellafield recognised the specialist skills that we offer here in the Fens.

“Opening the new facility is a real landmark in delivering this important contract and was a significant challenge as construction works – including strengthening foundations to support the heavy machine tools required – had to go on alongside existing operations.”

“The new site is will employ multi-skilled workers across a range of roles, including our apprentices, who should be ready to start contributing to the programme after the second year of their course.

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“In this, the centenary year of our apprentice scheme, we’re particularly proud to be able to offer genuine career prospects to the next generation of engineers and we hope the Sellafield contract will be the first in a long line of contracts we can bring to the region.”

Martin Chown said: “We’re really pleased with the progress made by the team at Stainless Metalcraft and the opening of this site is a real landmark for the project.

“The boxes are an essential component of our decommissioning programme and the team at Metalcraft has worked tirelessly to develop the site while also producing the first prototype boxes.”

Ron Gorham said: “We’re delighted with the new facility and looking forward to it become home to a new generation of talented nuclear engineers.

“The company’s commitment to the project was rightfully recognised at our Supply Chain Awards last month, when Metalcraft was awarded the prestigious Minister’s Award in recognition of its track record training engineers and aspiration to recruit up to 10 apprentices every year until at least 2020.

“Their approach gives us confidence that we will have a manufacturer capable of supplying their products and equipment for high integrity, mission critical items well into the future, with the next generation of engineers trained and developed to the highest standards.”