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Friday, 28 November 2014

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Companies urged to use nuclear testing facility

ONE of the bosses behind a company building a nuclear pond testing facility has called on Furness firms to take advantage of the opportunity.

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INNOVATION Finance director Dave Woodburn of Forth Engineering is calling on Furness businesses to take advantage of its nuclear pond testing facility LINDSEY DICKINGS REF: 50066651B000

Dave Woodburn, finance director of Forth Engineering, has revealed the firm’s development in West Cumbria will soon be complete.

The pond, which is six metres deep, 25 metres long and 10 metres wide, is aimed at companies involved in the nuclear and offshore supply chain in order to test out new products and innovation.

Mr Woodburn is based in Barrow but regularly travels up to Forth Engineering’s headquarters in Maryport, where the pond is based.

He said: “Companies can use the pool as part of the research and development process.

“It’s a perfect replica of the ponds they have at Sellafield, to mimic conditions as closely as possible.”

With support from Sellafield and Westinghouse, and funding from Britain’s Energy Coast, Forth Engineering’s £700,000 facility is set to be complete in September.

And even though construction is not yet finished, bookings are already coming in thick and fast.

Mr Woodburn, who lives with his family at Furness Park Road in Barrow, said: “Westinghouse have booked it from September to December then we’re hoping they will renew that contract.

“But we’re also looking to attract interest from some of the smaller companies which may be able to benefit.

“We do a lot of work with nuclear decommissioning firms but we’re also involved in oil and gas and offshore maintenance.

“We have ties with a number of Barrow-based companies which we supply pumps, valves and hoses to on a regular basis and we’re keen to develop those links.

“On the back of that, we’re trying to promote ourselves further in Furness, looking to the likes of Siemens.

“There’s a lot of opportunities for other business in the area that might want to use the facility.”

Mr Woodburn, who has been part of the Forth Engineering team for 12 years but has been more heavily involved in the last seven since selling his financial services company.

He added: “There is an increasing number of companies in the Furness area which are taking advantage of the opportunities available in West Cumbria and at Sellafield.

“We have a lot of expertise in this area, and there is huge room for growth in terms of the nuclear decommissioning going on up the coast.”

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