GDF Community Partnership South Copeland

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£1M in South Copeland awarded by GDF programme

February 21, 2023

South Copeland GDF Community Partnership has awarded £1million in Community Investment Funding (CIF) to local projects during its first year.

A total of 27 projects were awarded grant funding in South Copeland as the area takes part in the search for a suitable site for a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF), with a further £1million available to the community this year. CIF is provided by the GDF developer to the Search Area for taking part in the siting process.

South Copeland GDF Community Partnership Chair, Ged McGrath, said: “We’re really pleased to have awarded the full £1million fund in South Copeland during our first year as a Community Partnership. The funding will positively impact many people across our area, and will continue to for years to come.

“The GDF may never be located in South Copeland, but we’re encouraging local people to take advantage of the benefit of being a part of the long-term siting process.

“We’re now considering projects for year two, and I would encourage any local groups, public sector organisations and businesses that want to do something to benefit the community to consider applying for the funding. It is possible to apply again, even if you have successfully applied and received a grant previously.”

The projects to benefit from CIF so far include:

  • Bootle & District First Responders, £8,982, to replace 8 defibrillators and purchase a laminator, clothing and additional equipment for when a Community First Responder is on scene and giving casualty care.
  • Cumbria Addictions: Advice and Solutions (CADAS), £106,662, to provide focused support to the local community on a variety of issues relating specifically to mental health and addictive behaviours.
  • Cumbria Community Foundation, £49,812, to support the Foundation’s Winter Warmth Fund in South Copeland, providing individual grants to those over 60 who receive a state pension and/or pension credit or struggle to maintain a basic acceptable standard of living during the winter due to the cost of heating their home and the restrictions of cold weather. Copeland Age and Advice Service (CAAS) are helping to deliver the programme.
  • Cumbria CVS, £148,824, assisting the recruitment of a new part-time Development Officer for the next three years, with the role providing a programme of support to organisations in South Copeland to help them develop and deliver quality services, access funding to sustain their activity, and recruit and train volunteers.
  • Eskdale Mill, £2,700, to support the purchase of a new chain drive for the Mill’s small hydroelectricity generation scheme.
  • Friends of Eskdale School – St Begas CofE Primary School, £31,848, to supply and install a biodome for school and community use. The dome would be used as an inspiring learning space in which children would learn a wide variety of skills, such as food and plant growing skills. Parents and community members who have a keen interest in gardening will support the children and there are a number of ideas to engage with the wider community.
  • Inspira, £13,614, to fund a school engagement programme offering students direct access to a range of employers and information on employment opportunities.
  • Mental Health North West CIC, £33,200, funding a two-year project to provide a weekly Wellness Walk (Walk & Talk session) in various locations.
  • Millom Baptist Church, £40,000, to replace the wooden flooring in the community hall and remove and replace the old stairs, storage areas, and toilet.
  • Millom Cricket Club, £31,236, to make improvements to the clubhouse, facilities and grounds.
  • Millom First Responders, £19,984, to replace 8 defibrillators, and other equipment including a mannequin and training defibrillator.
  • Millom Flower Group, £5,000, to provide one year of funding supporting regrowth post COVID-19. This will support guest speakers, demonstration fees and trips.
  • Millom Rugby Union Football Club, £31,606, to update a range of groundskeeping equipment.
  • Millom STEM Club, £2,000, to fund Haverigg Environmental Science project including the planting of wild woodland and pond plants and building a dipping platform. The wildlife will be accessible to all local primary schools, and will encourage a greater diversity of wildlife to inhabit the area.
  • Millom Town Council, £46,737, to resurface the multi-use games area (MUGA) in Millom Park and install new fencing.
  • St George’s Church, £8,666, to repair the church roof and gutters, allowing the Church’s continued use by the community.
  • Silecroft Golf Club, £23,616, to create a storage facility for equipment and materials and help the club bring forward the recruitment of a suitable groundsperson.
  • St John’s Waberthwaite Parochial Church Council, £37,240, to provide funding for a project which will create a resource centre out of an old building, once used as a laundry and bakehouse. The venue will be used for all kinds of community uses, including school groups, meetings and workshops.

Deborah Naylor, Area Operations Manager at Inspira, a recipient of funding, said: “Research shows that young people who have regular contact with employers are less likely to be unemployed and more likely to have successful careers. Funding from the South Copeland GDF Community Partnership has allowed pupils to meet and interact with a wide range of employers from the local area. These firms have motivated pupils, allowed them to develop new perspectives and to understand the skills and qualifications needed to be successful in their future lives. We’re really pleased that the funding has supported and allowed the continuation of this programme.”

Reverend Rachel Street, Minister of Millom Baptist Church, said: “Funding for our new floor has enabled us to replace the old damaged and unsafe wooden floor in our church hall with a well insulated new sprung dance floor, better toilet facilities and improved storage. The dancing school using our building for their classes are already benefiting from the new surface, the toddler group are making excellent use of the extra space to play, and it is easier to heat the building and so our Warm Space and weekly coffee morning are warmer and more comfortable. It also looks fantastic, welcoming and cosy! We are delighted to have already received some room bookings for meetings and training events as well as our regular weekly events, and are so pleased to be able to offer use of this building as an asset to the local community.”

Deep geology beyond the coast is currently being considered for siting the underground elements of a GDF. This means a surface facility on, or near, the coast would provide access to a disposal area deep in rock beyond the coast.

Three other areas in the UK have Community Partnerships and are taking part in the siting process for a GDF: Mid Copeland and Allerdale in Cumbria and Theddlethorpe in Lincolnshire.

A GDF requires both a suitable site and a willing community. It would also require consent from regulators including the Office for Nuclear Regulation and the Environment Agency. Additionally, if a suitable site is found in South Copeland – a process which could take 10-15 years – a Test of Public Support would give people in the potential host community a direct say over whether or not the project goes ahead.

The South Copeland GDF Community Partnership is keen to hear from groups with projects that could be eligible for Community Investment Funding. Find out more and apply here: Community Investment Funding – South Copeland GDF Community Partnership (