Jobs, electricity and a boost for local firms are among the benefits being listed by the county's business experts after Sizewell C got the green light this week.

The new power plant, which is expected to cost £20bn, had questions marks hanging over it until it was given approval by government on July 20.

Criticism of the project have included the cost and the impact on wildlife.

However with the site given the thumbs up, work will begin to build it on the Suffolk coast roughly 40 miles from Norwich.

Norfolk Chambers of Commerce chief executive, Nova Fairbank, welcomed the news that the nuclear power station has been given the go ahead.

Eastern Daily Press: Nova Fairbank reveals her plans for the Norfolk Chambers of CommerceNova Fairbank reveals her plans for the Norfolk Chambers of Commerce (Image: Norfolk Chambers of Commerce)

She said that the site will not only create jobs during construction but also provides potential for businesses through the supply chain.

Companies will also be able to apply for contracts in catering, security and cleaning, she added.

"The wider business community will be involved," she said.

"The impact on the supply chain is phenomenal."

C-J Green, chair of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), also welcomed the news.

She said: “This nuclear power station will generate sufficient low carbon electricity for six million homes and create thousands of jobs - including 1,500 apprenticeships.

"Our well-established and world-leading supply chain meanwhile makes the region perfectly positioned to take full advantage of this massive project, which will contribute to a higher performing, clean and inclusive economy.

“This is an important step forward and we will work with partners to ensure the project delivers maximum economic opportunities for the area.”

It is hoped that Sizewell C, which is expected will generate about 7pc of the UK's electricity needs and operate for 60 years, will help cement East Anglia as one of the UK's energy sector's leading regions.

The nuclear power plant is partially being funded by EDF, a French-owned energy firm.

For Norwich-based energy consultants, Indigo Swan, this will help to strengthen its business offering.

Eastern Daily Press: James Groves, managing director at Indigo Swan.James Groves, managing director at Indigo Swan. (Image: Archant)

James Groves, managing director of the Millennium Plain-based business, said: "Sizewell C is another example of how Norfolk is becoming a true energy hub for the country.

"Indigo Swan is proud to have our business here and represent the energy sector on a national scale from our home in Norfolk."

"The East of England is fast becoming a low-carbon generation hub, which is exciting to be a part of," Aimee Konieczny, commercial director at Indigo Swan added.

The growth of the region as an energy centre is also helping to attract interest from other firms looking to invest in Norfolk.

Vattenfall, for example, has recently won the government's Contracts for Difference (CfD) bid, which will help fund a massive wind farm to be built off the Norfolk coast, which is forecasted to generate enough renewable electricity for 1.5m homes.

To help support the boom in offshore windfarms, Port of Lowestoft is constructing a £25m Eastern Energy Facility (LEEF) which will provide key facilities for the sector and create hundreds of in the Lowestoft and surrounding areas.

The move should attract investment and jobs for decades to come, Ms Fairbank added, especially as the government remains keen to meet its goal of reducing the country's carbon emissions.

She continued to prepare for the benefits the new nuclear power station offers the region businesses need to ensure that staff have the skills that will be required at the site.

She added: "We need to upskill and reskill employees to be prepared for the opportunities that Sizewell C presents.

"Businesses need to plan for skills now that will be needed in 12 to 18 months' time."

Ms Fairbank highlighted the free resources available to help workers upgrade their knowledge and qualifications, such as via the Norfolk Knowledge Hub website.

The Norfolk Chamber of Commerce, along with Norfolk County Council, is also promoting apprenticeships as a good way for firms to train workers for the desired skills.

Ms Fairbank added that there is still funding available to help local companies recruit and train apprentices including the Progression to Apprenticeships support package that is currently being trialled.

Opposition to Sizewell C

Eastern Daily Press: Campaigners protesting against Sizewell CCampaigners protesting against Sizewell C (Image: Sarah Lucy Brown)

Although business leaders in Norfolk have largely welcomed the news that Sizewell C will go ahead, some groups and individuals oppose the new nuclear power station.

Campaigners Stop Sizewell C highlighted the expense of the station as a key reasons for their objection, along with the impact it will have on local communities and the environment.

The group added that the plant had been refused consent from the Planning Inspectorate.

A spokeswoman for Stop Sizewell C added: “The wrong decision has been made but it’s not the end of our campaign to stop Sizewell C.”

The RSPB’s Minsmere nature reserve raised concerns over the impact it will have on the local wildlife and called the decision “ludicrous”.

A report from February this year revealed the Planning Inspectorate recommended that plans for the nuclear power plant be refused “unless the outstanding water supply strategy can be resolved and sufficient information provided to enable the Secretary of State carry out his obligations under the Habitats Regulations”.