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BBC documentary covers Europe’s ‘second biggest hotel’ at Hinkley

16 February 2019 | By BIM+ staff

Europe’s “second biggest hotel” is in the quiet town of Bridgewater, in Somerset.

It was built by French energy giant EDF to house nearly 1,000 people building the UK’s next nuclear power station, Hinkley C, which is itself the biggest building site in Europe.

The hotel, and the effect of 1,000 new people in Bridgwater, was the subject of a special BBC Radio 4 documentary aired last week. 

It follows the life-long Bridgwater resident Emma Britton as she probes what the hotel means for the town.

“I’ve always lived here and I reckon barring a lottery win I probably always will,” she said in a BBC media release about the programme.

Life-long Bridgwater resident Emma Britton probes what the hotel means for the town (BBC)

Although the hotel is bringing prosperity to the area – creating jobs and bringing new restaurants and shops – some are worried about house prices rocketing, traffic increasing and parking being swallowed up.

Some even predict this new influx of men could lead to more divorces and pop-up brothels.

The figures for construction of Hinkley are extraordinary: at its height it will need 5,600 workers, bringing 20,000 people to the area and costing twice that of the entire 2012 Olympics.

The hotel is known as “Sedgemoor Campus” and is just a few minutes’ walk from Britton’s home.

“For me this programme is about my home town of Bridgwater, which I love, and the impact on my hometown of not actually the building of a nuclear power station but what that comes with, and what that’s come with around the corner from my house.”

Listen to the report “Not the Biggest Hotel in Europe” here.