Rolls-Royce hopes to create 6,000 jobs over the next five years.

The UK SMR Consortium, which the engineering group is part of, plans to build small nuclear reactors around the UK.

The 16 mini nuclear power stations will support the government’s “levelling up” agenda.

Tom Samson, interim chief executive of the consortium, said: “This creates a unique opportunity to revitalise the UK’s industrial base and paves the way for the future commercialisation of advanced reactor solutions, including fusion technology.

“Our ambition to accelerate the deployment of a fleet these power stations across the UK will contribute massively to the ‘levelling up’ agenda, creating sustainable high value manufacturing jobs in those areas most in need of economic activity.”

He added: “The fleet approach will bring huge value to the communities of which these power stations will be a part, with economic activity spanning 60 years of operations.”

As well as the 6,000 initial jobs, the power plant plans could create an additional 34,000 roles over the next 15 years.

The move would also be beneficial to Rolls-Royce, who have been hit hard by the pandemic. Shares have fallen 80% since January and for the first half of the year, Rolls-Royce revealed a £5.4bn loss.