15 Jul 14

Tea and cakes mark Heysham Visitor Centre first anniversary

TEAS, bees and didgeridoos kept visitors entertained during a two-day event celebrating the first anniversary of Heysham power stations’ visitor centre.

The centre has welcomed more than 5000 visitors since it opened and many of those have taken the site tour to see behind the scenes at Heysham 2 power station.

The Visitor Centre plays a key role in linking the local community to all that is happening at the two station sites.

In a recent telephone survey conducted with 1000 people who live near the stations, 59% of those questioned said they were favourable towards nuclear and 69% felt the site was ‘open and transparent about current operations’.

Alan Oulton, Heysham 2 station director, said: “We are a key part of the local community and it has been fantastic to be able to open our doors and welcome people into to see what we do.

“The survey we had last year was positive and the feedback we have received from our visitors has also proved very encouraging.”

The first event was a ‘Marie Curie’ Bloomin’ Great Tea Party held at the Visitor Centre, which staff supported by baking or eating cakes – which raised £400.

Marie Curie was chosen by staff as the EDF Energy charity of the year and to date they have raised more than £249,000 in the first 12 months of the partnership.

With an additional £100,000 donation from EDF Energy, the total raised is more than £349,000.

On Saturday staff were invited to the centre to mark its first anniversary with a family day. ‘Mad Scientists’ entertained the younger family members as did events at the sites’ nature reserve.

Young scientists were also encouraged to take up EDF Energy’s Bumblebee challenge – spotting and reporting bees in their gardens over the summer as part of a Citizen Science project.

Alan added: “I hope that some of the youngsters who saw the entertaining scientists showing some interesting chemical experiments, and also those who join in the Bumblebee Challenge might be inspired to take up science and engineering careers in the future.

“In the next few years as we look to extend the operational lives at Heysham 1 and Heysham 2, we will need to replace our retiring engineers through programmes such as the apprentice and graduate schemes.

“And as our latest intake of 14 apprentices shows – these new technicians and engineers are drawn, in the main, from the community.”

For more information contact:

Martyn Butlin
Media Officer (North and Midlands)
01524 863 565
07768 577822

Notes to editors

First anniversary at Heysham power stations' Visitor Centre

EDF Energy

EDF Energy is one of the UK’s largest energy companies and the largest producer of low-carbon electricity, producing around one-fifth of the nation's electricity from its nuclear power stations, wind farms, coal and gas power stations and combined heat and power plants. The company supplies gas and electricity to 6 million business and residential customer accounts and is the biggest supplier of electricity by volume in Great Britain.

EDF Energy’s safe and secure operation of its eight existing nuclear power stations at sites across the country makes it the UK’s largest generator of low carbon electricity. EDF Energy is also leading the UK's nuclear renaissance and has published plans to build four new nuclear plants, subject to the right investment framework.

These new plants could generate enough low carbon electricity for about 40% of Britain’s homes. They would make an important contribution to the UK’s future needs for clean, secure and affordable energy. The project is already creating business and job opportunities for British companies and workers.

Through Our Better Energy Ambitions, EDF Energy has developed one of the biggest environmental and social programmes of any British energy company.

In 2014 EDF Energy received seven ‘Big Ticks’ in the Business in the Community (BITC) Responsible Business Awards. In 2013 EDF Energy received the Environmental Leadership for Behavioural Change Award in the national Environment and Energy Awards and was highly commended in the first ever pan European Corporate Social Responsibility Awards scheme for its Sustainable Schools programme – the Pod.

EDF Energy is part of EDF Group, one of Europe’s largest power companies. The company employs around 15,000 people at locations across the UK.

To find out more about the UK's energy challenges look at www.edfenergy.com/energyfuture/