With plans to invest £60 billion towards the construction of new nuclear power stations in the UK by 2030, small and medium manufacturers are eager to get a slice of the action. To aid English SMEs on their quest to land a major contract through this programme, Fit For Nuclear (F4N) has made £1.5 million in funding available.

This initiative, developed by the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Nuclear AMRC) in partnership with the Manufacturing Advisory Board, is designed to help smaller businesses reach the standards necessary to make it in the competitive civil nuclear industry. SME manufacturing companies are invited to apply for grants of around £10,000.

Meeting industry standards

Mike Tynan, Chief Executive of the Nuclear AMRC, said: “Smaller manufacturers have a vital role to play in civil nuclear, if they can meet the standards demanded by the industry’s top tier.

“To win work, UK companies need to make sure they have the ability to meet safety, quality and cost standards, and can demonstrate that their specialist capabilities can deliver value to clients.”

According to industry predictions, more than 5,000 SMEs will be relied upon to ensure the UK is able to complete its £60bn civil new build programme.

Besides having access to high-precision machining facilities to improve performance, small manufacturers could use any funding awarded to invest in improving areas such as training, strategy, bid writing, manufacturing processes and factory layout.

How can SME manufacturers apply for funding?

In order to be eligible for this funding manufacturing businesses must be based in England, employ more than 10 people and achieve sales of more than £1.6 million.

While the deadline is March 31st 2016, firms are being encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Visit the Fit For Nuclear funding page for further information.