EDF Energy to provide £100 million of lasting community investment for Hinkley Point C, including £20 million Community Fund
EDF Energy is to unveil its plans to support the community during the construction of a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point. This will include around £100 million which should be of lasting benefit for the community.
The move is an important step forward that EDF Energy is making as it seeks to address comments received from the community and local authorities so far.
The £100 million which should be of lasting benefit comprises two elements:
Funds available to the community to improve the quality of life for people in Somerset; and Investment in infrastructure which could be of lasting benefit.
The funds element includes a significantly increased Community Fund of £20 million (up from £1 million originally proposed). It also includes a multi-million pound range of other funds and contributions in housing, colleges, skills and services which will be of legacy benefit to the community.
The investment in infrastructure that could have a lasting benefit for the community includes transport and highway improvements, for example in Bridgwater and Cannington. It also includes some accommodation which is proposed to be left as a legacy for the community after construction is complete.
The £100 million of lasting benefit is part of a larger total of £300 million that EDF Energy expects to spend on mitigating the impacts of the project and on providing community benefit. Key figures:
Richard Mayson, EDF Energy’s Director of Planning and External Affairs, said:
"Consultation is all about dialogue. We want to work together with the community. In earlier stages of our consultation we were asked to look again at our proposals for community benefit. We recognise that we needed to increase the support we will provide to the local community.
"We have taken on board this feedback and we are now putting forward measures that should provide £100 million of lasting benefit. As part of this we have increased the Community Fund to £20 million to improve the quality of life in the local communities. The fund will be spent locally on a range of initiatives chosen by the community and local authorities.
"Our continued commitment to local people is that we will ensure that any significant impacts of the construction or operation of the power station and associated developments are managed sensitively and if they cannot be managed they are mitigated.
"Our dialogue is continuing with the local authorities to address issues they have raised through the consultation process and in connection with our preparatory works applications. We are keen to find a solution that works for the community and we are committed to ongoing dialogue."
The announcement comes as a consultation is about to start this Friday (February 25) and run until 28 March, focusing on material changes to the Hinkley Point C plans since consultation last summer.
Further details of the updates and changes to the Preferred Proposals are to be published at the beginning of the consultation.
The fundamentals of the Hinkley Point C project remain the same, but the company has further developed the detail of its proposals. It has considered carefully views raised through consultation and continuing engagement with the local community, including the local authorities and other statutory consultees.
The consultation will include a series of exhibitions (details below).. The aim is to help people understand and comment on the changes to the proposals before a development consent order application is submitted to the Infrastructure Planning Commission. Members of the EDF Energy project team will be on hand to answer questions.
A consultation document updating members of the public on the project and the proposed changes, and seeking their views, will be widely available at the public exhibitions and to download from the website www.edfenergyconsultation.info. A summary of this will be translated into key minority languages used in the Bridgwater area and made available on the website. A large print version of the summary will also be available on request. A translation and interpretation service can be provided if required, while EDF Energy staff will undertake, on request, home visits to people with mobility problems who are directly affected by its proposals.