There are hundreds of businesses of all sizes currently working at Hinkley Point C (HPC), though few can be as integral to daily site operations as Ainscough.
The UK’s largest crane company, Ainscough has gone to great lengths to embed itself into the South West’s business and educational communities and currently works with over 60 contractors on site.
With 30 depot locations across the UK from Scotland down to Devon, Ainscough is highly experienced in working on complex infrastructure projects and has brought that expertise to Somerset where it has over 50 people involved with the new nuclear build project at HPC.
“We’re not only committed to the HPC programme, we are heavily invested in the local community too,” said Adam Hodgkins, commercial manager for Ainscough at HPC.
“As a business this is the largest infrastructure project we’re working on and, as we’re potentially going to be here for many years to come, it’s the right thing to do to integrate into the local community both on and off site.”
A family-run company until 2007, today Ainscough operates over 400 cranes and employs 900 people working on projects all over the UK including the A14 bypass through Cambridge, Energy for Waste Sites and Petrochemical sites.
At HPC, Ainscough, is working with many of the Tier 1 suppliers such as Kier BAM, Bylor and Balfour Beatty.
“We have more than 50 working on the project, including crane operators, supervisors and engineers, as well as an office in the Somerset Energy Innovation Centre,” continued Adam.
“Clearly we’re a national company, however we are very committed to the South West and now have a strong stake in ensuring this project is a success.”
Ainscough first came onto site four years ago having liaised initially with the HPC Supply Chain Team, attending its many networking meetings and other events, before building links and relationships with the Tier 1 contractors.
Adam said: “To date we have had 16 different types of crane on site, from 40t to 750t, working right across HPC as the project progresses from the civil works to the mechanical and engineering phase.
“It’s been a long process to get to this stage which has taken careful relationship-building to achieve, but ultimately it’s been incredibly rewarding and we are extremely proud to be part of what’s happening here in Somerset.”
As you would expect from any company involved with a nuclear new build project, Ainscough takes health and safety extremely seriously – a corporate value entirely in line with the culture at HPC. The company is also embracing new technology and integrating that into its work at HPC, specifically with the introduction of an app – My Ainscough – which includes features designed to help workers make safe choices when working on site.
Ainscough’s commitment to the local community and the company has linked with Bridgwater College’s Cannington Campus where it has supported various events and works with the college to offer its slingers and banksmen courses.
“We see this as all about building our legacy in the South West,” said Adam. “We’re making an investment in the future so that as our workforce ages we have the next generation of crane operators, engineers and managers ready to come through and continue our work.”
Need a crane? Contract lift? Or advice for a special project on site call Adam on 07795 012049