Gainsborough family open new office in next stage of development of the UK’s prototype fusion energy plant in West Burton

A Gainsborough family were asked to officially open the first UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) office in West Burton to support the development of the UK’s prototype fusion energy plant, STEP (Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production).
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Rebecca Parry, from Gainsborough, who is a member of West Burton’s security team and the third generation of Parry family to be employed at the site over the last six decades, opened the office.

Rebecca said: “I am very honoured to have been asked to officially open the first STEP building on site. In our family, West Burton is close to all our hearts.”

Rebecca was joined at West Burton her five-year-old daughter, Erin, who attends a local primary school in Gainsborough, along with her father, John Parry, who worked in the control room as part of the operations team.

Rebecca Parry cuts the ribbon with Dr James Cowa, STEP programme directorRebecca Parry cuts the ribbon with Dr James Cowa, STEP programme director
Rebecca Parry cuts the ribbon with Dr James Cowa, STEP programme director

Her grandfather, David Parry, helped to build the site in the 1960s.

She said: “My grandfather, David Parry, would be extremely proud that our family were chosen to help celebrate the opening ceremony and in turn I’m so delighted that my daughter Erin can see what our family have achieved through the decades. I hope it inspires her for her future career.”

Paul Methven, CEO of UK Industrial Fusion Solutions (UKIFS), the subsidiary of UKAEA Group being set up to lead delivery of STEP, said: “Today’s modest beginnings mark an important milestone for the STEP programme and delivery of a revolutionary new energy source that could be transformative for climate change in addition to creating thousands of jobs for the region.

“I would like to thank Rebecca and family for joining us today and for representing the many multi-generational families that have been part of West Burton’s past and present, and who will continue to be part of West Burton’s future.”

Members of local district councils from Bassetlaw and West Lindsey in addition to Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire County Council joined Midlands Engine and EDF representatives to mark the occasion.

The temporary office building will house the local STEP team and project staff as they work on the plans to deliver the prototype fusion energy plant, a first of its kind.