Martin Chown Sellafield CEO p CBI North West

Chown oversees the 1,200-acre nuclear and industrial sites near Seascale on the Cumbrian coast. Credit: via CBI

Sellafield CEO appointed as CBI’s regional chair

Martin Chown, who has headed up the Cumbria-based nuclear power company since 2020, is the new chair of the business group’s North West Regional Council.

The Confederation of Business Industry appointed Chown this week to take over from former Manchester Airport managing director Karen Smart.

In his role at Sellafield, Martin is responsible for leading one of the world’s most complex nuclear and industrial sites, which spans 1,200 acres near Seascale on the West Cumbrian coast.

Sellafield is a major North West property player, awarding high-value construction, site disposal and property management contracts to companies in the region and beyond.

For example, its £4.5bn, 20-year Programme and Project Partners framework – the partners of which were announced in 2019 – aims to deliver Sellafield’s nuclear decommissioning programme – offloading sites for remediation and future alternative uses.

Its £250bn Integrated Asset Care framework aims to carry out building and maintenance work at the vast site, and Seddon won a £175m contract in July this year to deliver a series of construction and building fit-out projects related to decommissioning.

Warrington-based Chown was appointed chief executive of Sellafield in 2020. He has held previous roles with the public and private sectors, including at the Cabinet Office, Balfour Beatty, GlaxoSmithKline, Toyota, and Varity Perkins.

As CBI North West chair, he aims to help businesses overcome current market challenges to build sustainable economic growth, tackle regional skills gaps and help companies to meet their net zero ambitions.

“I have always been impressed by the breadth and quality of businesses that are based in our region, and working alongside these business leaders is something I very much look forward to,” Chown said.

CBI North West director Damian Waters said: “Martin brings a wealth of knowledge of the region and insight into the issues that matter to businesses.

“His expertise will be a major asset for businesses and for the CBI as we look to build renewed economic growth, work towards a net-zero future and implement the strategies for success set out in our Seize The Moment vision [CBI’s economic strategy for the UK].”

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