GDF Community Partnership South Copeland

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£2 million Community Investment Funding awarded in South Copeland

January 30, 2024

The Community Partnership has assisted with the award of a further £1million in Community Investment Funding (CIF) to local projects during its second year.

The funding is provided by the Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) developer, Nuclear Waste Services (NWS), as South Copeland takes part in the nationwide search for a suitable site to build a GDF.

Grants can be used to fund projects, schemes or initiatives that:

  • Provide economic opportunities
  • Enhance the natural and built environment
  • Improve community wellbeing within the Search Area

Within these themes, the Community Investment Funding Panel are prioritising projects that are sustainable and leave a lasting legacy in the community.

23 successful grant applications in 2023

12 grants below £10,000

6 grants between £10,001 and £50,000

5 grants above £50,000

Below are some examples of the impact that the funding is having so far.

Cumbria Community Foundation Winter Warmth Fund – £60,000

“This funding from South Copeland GDF Community Partnership to the Winter Warmth Fund will make a great difference to the vulnerable older people in South Copeland. Each year, the Winter Warmth Fund plays a vital role in helping to support older people in Cumbria to stay warm during the winter. Many of these vulnerable people choose between eating and heating and this funding has come at a crucial time when people are really starting to struggle to find the funds to keep warm. This funding will literally save lives.”

Muncaster Castle Parkrun – £4,000

“Muncaster parkrun is already reaping dividends from the very generous support funding provided by the Community Investment Fund to get it up and running.  It is fabulous to see so many locals young and old engaging with this new event and improving their fitness levels whether running or walking.  The parkrun community from far and wide is also flocking to support it and we are amazed to see how many people are travelling to experience a parkrun in such a beautiful setting.  It is wonderful to us to see the local community coming together in such a positive way in Muncaster’s gardens on Saturday mornings.”

Millom STEM Club – £2,000

“The funding will change a neglected wild area into a valuable environmental education resource, giving access to a wild wood and pond for use by all local primary school children. The purpose of the project is to encourage youngsters to learn about the natural flora and fauna and appreciate the diversity and value of nature. We are very grateful for the funding and the positive impact this project will have for young people in South Copeland”.

Friends of Eskdale School – £31,849

“This project has realised one of the long term aims of the school; to install a biodome in order to provide an inspiring, exciting, multi-purpose and tranquil working space. FOES was delighted to make this project happen as it will support the development of our children, and hence our community, for many years to come in a wide variety of subjects, such as art, science, maths, economics and English. It is such an amazing resource for the children that will also foster closer relationships between the school and its local community. We are really grateful to the South Copeland GDF Community Investment Funding for providing us with support for this amazing project.”

Millom Baptist Church – £40,000

“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.”


Millom Town Council – £42,488

“Millom Town Council received a grant enabling them to resurface the MUGA (Muti-Use-Games Area) in the Millom Park.  All games lines were re-painted and the fencing renewed. This has proved to be an asset to the town and is used regularly by adults, teenagers and younger children.  Park Play holds a session in this area free to all children on Saturday mornings.”


Bootle and District First Responders – £8,982

“Funding has allowed us to replace our ageing defibrillators and other equipment that is essential for us to provide emergency support to our local community. Our defibrillators are expensive pieces of equipment and without CIF support it would have been impossible to re-equip the entire team. Being in remote, rural, west Cumbria, it might take some time for an ambulance to attend a medical emergency such as a cardiac arrest or heart attack, which is when local resident First Responders can be alerted by the 999 call handler and be on scene in minutes. Trained by the North West Ambulance Service and carrying essential equipment we are able to provide immediate life-saving support prior to the ambulance or medi-helicopter arriving. Having our new kit secures our future for the coming years for which we are extremely grateful.”


Millom and District Flower Group – £5,000

“Our Club, which has a flower arranging demonstration every month, also has a strong social aspect. Before the pandemic, we had a membership of over 70 and were self-supporting, but when Covid hit we were forced to close for 2 years. We were unsure if the membership would return, and demonstrator costs had increased considerably. In November, we celebrated our 55th anniversary and the grant we received has allowed us to move forward on a strong financial footing for many more more years to come. We can confidently book demonstrators and arrange events for our increasing membership allowing them to enjoy fun and friendship through flowers”

Funding applications are now open for 2024. To find out more about CIF and apply, please visit the South Copeland GDF Community Partnership website or contact our Grants Manager, Helen Conway: who can support your application and help ensure that it is successful.