As the site workforce increases in number, communities in Somerset are being reminded to apply for grants from a £7.2 million pot of funding.
The fund was secured from EDF Energy after West Somerset Council gave planning permission for the site at Hinkley Point to be prepared for the C station development. It is known as the Community Impact Mitigation Fund (CIM).
The CIM Fund has been set-up to support schemes and projects across Somerset, in particular West Somerset and Sedgemoor, that aim to improve the wellbeing of communities who are (or will be) directly affected by the construction works taking place on-site. It is administered by West Somerset Council in partnership with Sedgemoor District Council, Somerset County Council and EDF Energy.
CIM-funded projects can be large or small – but MUST be directly linked to impacts from Hinkley Point C and seek to improve the economic, social or environmental wellbeing of affected communities. Projects that seek to help communities benefit from the positive opportunities offered by the development are also being encouraged.
The CIM Fund has been set up to support schemes and projects across Somerset, in particular West Somerset and Sedgemoor, that aim to improve the wellbeing of communities who are (or will be) affected by the development of Hinkley Point C or any of its associated off site projects.
Parish councils, Town council, community organisations, sports clubs and voluntary groups are all welcome to apply. Small grants are available up to £1000 with larger grants also available for those applicants that can successfully demonstrate how their project meets the CIM Fund’s criteria.
Projects and schemes MUST be directly linked to impacts of HPC and seek to improve the economic, social or environmental wellbeing of affected communities. Projects that seek to help communities benefit from the positive opportunities offered by the development are also being encouraged to apply.
The fund is administered by West Somerset Council in partnership with Sedgemoor District Council, Somerset County Council and EDFE.
Cllr Mandy Chilcott, West Somerset Council’s Lead Members for Resources and Chair of the Planning Obligations Board, said: “We have already seen some really great community projects funded through the CIM Fund which will help mitigate the impacts of the construction of Hinkley Point C.
“These projects and facilities will help our area during the build and leave a lasting legacy for many years to come. As EDF Energy’s on-site activity increases, it is important that communities know that the CIM Fund is available to help address the impacts of the project. Our teams are ready and waiting to help, advise and guide people and we look forward to receiving applications which build on the good work done so far.
“We welcome any group with an idea for a project to come forward and details can be found by visiting www.westsomersetonline.gov.uk/CIM to review the CIM Fund’s criteria, obtain contact details and discuss submitting an expression of interest. Staff at both West Somerset Council and Sedgemoor District Council are available to work with groups to support them through the application process and advise on eligibility.”
Cllr Peter Downing, Portfolio Holder for Infrastructure, from Sedgemoor District Council, added: “Following EDF Energy’s announcement of a final investment decision we wanted to take this opportunity to remind the local community about the grants available through the Community Impact Mitigation Fund.
“We know there will be challenges ahead, as there are with any large development projects, but there will equally be opportunities that we don’t want local residents, clubs and groups missing out on. Applying for funds could help communities across the area to reap the benefits as well as reduce any impacts so we strongly encourage anyone with a relevant project or scheme to find out more online and contact Sedgemoor or West Somerset for support and advice”.
Nigel Cann, Hinkley Point C Programme and Construction Delivery Director, said: “Hinkley Point C will bring many benefits, including 25,000 jobs during construction and 900 permanent jobs throughout its 60 years of operation.
“In addition, we have allocated nearly £100million that will benefit local communities as part of our wider commitment to provide a lasting legacy from the project.”
Councillor David Hall, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Business, Investment and Policy, said: “The Hinkley development and the associated economic uplift is a once in a generation opportunity for Somerset. The local authorities have worked very hard to make sure the County and its communities benefit from the project as much as possible and that any impacts are recognised and appropriately mitigated.
“The CIM fund can make a real difference at the local level and I hope community groups across the area seize the opportunity to apply."
Since the fund was launched £2.6m of funding has been awarded to a wide variety of projects – and drawn in a further £2.7m of match-funding, bringing real grass roots benefits to people in West Somerset and Sedgemoor.
£600,000 towards the redevelopment of the Victory Hall in Stogursey providing additional sports facilities and meeting space for the host community for Hinkley Point C
£243,000 of financial support to the Boat Museum and Visitor Centre project in Watchet; the remodelling of the Boat Museum will attract visitors and benefit tourism across West Somerset.
£250,000 of funding to support the Williton Pavilion project. The initiative will provide a much needed building in Williton, where the growing community will be able to access sports, leisure and social activities and attend community events. The project will also draw £1m of additional funding into the area.
£90,000 of funding towards a village play area in Stogursey with further proposals being developed to utilise £500,000 ring-fenced for the parish.
£200,000 of CIM funding was awarded to The Sydenham and Bower Health and Wellbeing Group towards the revamp of Coronation Park on Parkway in Bridgwater. The revitalised park now includes play, sport, outdoor gym and dog agility facilities.
£14,500 was awarded to Victoria Park Community Centre in Bridgwater to support a Digital Inclusion project and job club to help local people access jobs, and training, including opportunities Hinkley Point C
£1000 was awarded to Bridgwater Doctors Cricket Club towards enhancements at Cannington Cricket Club to provide opportunities for more people to take part in cricket.
£1000 was awarded to Watchet Art Group to regenerate the harbour wall in Watchet with a vibrant mural to help attract visitors to the area.
£250,000 of funding to support the development of a new village hall with sports and playing fields in Wembdon. The hall will provide new facilities for the growing pre-school, a social area, and changing rooms along with the main hall for community activities.
£18,000 to fund a 3-year student business mentoring project in Bridgwater, providing trained mentors to help young people choose their career path, gain work experience and look towards local job opportunities.
Attached is a photo of the new play area in Stogursey.
NOTE: The Hinkley Point C Community Impact Mitigation Fund was negotiated with EDF Energy as part of a wider mitigation package for the site preparation works at Hinkley Point.
£7.2m has been made available for community projects in Somerset (and in particular West Somerset and Sedgemoor) that aim to alleviate social, environmental or economic impacts of the Hinkley Point C development.
To be considered for funding projects must be relevant and related to the impacts of the development and seek to improve the social, environmental or economic wellbeing of communities. Projects that seek to help communities harness the positive opportunities offered by the Hinkley Point C development may also be considered.
For more information on the CIM Fund and to find out if your project may be eligible to apply for funding visit www.westsomersetonline.gov.uk/CIM"
Issued on behalf of West Somerset Council, Sedgemoor District Council and Somerset County Council
Debbie Rundle, on behalf of West Somerset Council,01984 635280 or 01823 356407 or 07714 759899 email email@example.com
Sam Taylor, on behalf of Sedgemoor District Council firstname.lastname@example.org