Somerset scoops almost £10 million from Hinkley Point C’s Community Funds
The latest round of applications for Hinkley Point C’s Community Impact Mitigation (CIM) Fund has now pushed the total support received by local projects across Somerset to a staggering £9.4 million.
As part of the development of Hinkley Point C, EDF Energy has committed £20 million to community support funds to improve the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of communities that are affected by the development of the new nuclear power station. This is in addition to improvements to local infrastructure agreed and the investment made in local skills and employment, supporting the UK industrial strategy to build prosperous regional communities.
The projects that have received funding so far have been diverse. They range from two £250,000 grants to support both the construction of Wemdon’s new village hall and Williton’s new memorial ground and pavilion, to the funding of a new community gym, young people’s outreach workers, employment hubs and much more.
Also within the last £1.4 million approved directly from the CIM fund is substantial support for the Burnham Evolution Project (£350k), the Cheddar Community Pavilion (£320k), Citizens Advice Sedgemoor (£180k), public space enhancements in Bridgwater’s Victoria Ward (£50k), a new community gym for North Petherton (£300k) and improvements to Watchet Bowling Club (£150k).
David Eccles, Hinkley Point C Head of Stakeholder Engagement, said: “It’s great to see so many brilliant local projects launch thanks to the Hinkley Point C community fund. It’s our aim to fund projects that will provide a long lasting positive effect, and be a true legacy for the community for years to come.”
Lisa Redston, West Somerset Council People Place and Prosperity Localities Manager, said “It has been a pleasure to see so many community groups stepping up to access this funding. In total, 50 projects have received a grant from the HPC CIM Fund to deliver activities, services and facilities that will provide long term benefits for communities across Somerset. I look forward to seeing many more local projects funded through the HPC Community Fund.”
One of the latest projects is the new community pavilion at Williton Memorial Ground. Using over £250,000 of investment from EDF Energy and located within the heart of the community it has been designed to be multifunctional, catering for sports, leisure and social activities.
Project Lead, Cllr Bill Vaughan, said: “After twenty years of planning and fundraising, Williton's new £1.5 million community building is now a reality. Without the support of West Somerset Council and EDF Energy’s CIM Fund, this project would not have been successful. We have just received the keys and already received many enquiries for its use.
Somerset Community Foundation will manage the remaining Hinkley Point C Community Funds, taking over this role from West Somerset Council. SCF have awarded 39 grants to community groups, charities and social enterprises since November 2017. Just like the CIM fund, these remaining grants are for those seeking support for projects and work that will help to mitigate the impacts and increase the opportunities of the Hinkley Point C project in their communities.
More information on how to apply and details of projects that have been awarded funding by SCF so far can be found at www.hpcfunds.co.uk or by calling Somerset Community Foundation on 01749 344949.