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Community projects in South Copeland awarded over £710,000 in funding

December 12, 2022

Twenty-one community projects have been awarded grant funding in South Copeland as the area takes part in the search for a suitable site for a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF).

A total of £709,651 has been awarded since the South Copeland GDF Community Partnership launched in December 2021.

Formation of the Partnership gave access to £1million of Community Investment Funding (CIF) per year from the GDF programme as discussions continue around what a facility could mean locally. The Search Area in South Copeland includes the electoral wards of Millom and Black Combe & Scafell.

The Partnership is expecting to have allocated the full £1million fund this year.

The projects to benefit from CIF in South Copeland 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.
  • 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 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 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.

George Burch, Lead STEM Mentor at Millom STEM Club, said: “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”.

Millom STEM Club - Haverigg Environmental Science Project

Millom STEM Club – Haverigg Environmental Science Project

Rebecca Delin, Media and Contents Officer for Cumbria Community Foundation, who received £49,812, to support the Foundation’s Winter Warmth Fund in South Copeland, said: “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.”

Cumbria Community Foundation Winter Warmth Fund, delivered by Copeland Age and Advice Service (CAAS)

Cumbria Community Foundation Winter Warmth Fund, delivered by Copeland Age and Advice Service (CAAS)

A client of the Winter Warmth Fund, said: “I am really worried about my winter bills because we don’t know how bad they are going to be and being 83 and living alone my income is very restricted. This grant will take away a lot of the worry and is an absolute godsend; I will be able to put on the heating knowing that the extra money will cover the higher bills and help me to keep safe, warm and well”.

Ged McGrath, Chair of South Copeland GDF Community Partnership, said: “It is great news that our Community Partnership has been able to assist with the award of grant funding to so many worthwhile causes, and I’m pleased to see these projects helping to make a positive difference to the community in South Copeland.

“We’re receiving applications from a wide range of community developments and organisations, and we encourage anyone with an existing project or an idea for a new project to get in touch with Community Investment Funding team to see what is possible.

“We are keen to support projects that provide economic development opportunities, enhance the natural and built environment, or improve community wellbeing. I’m looking forward to seeing what is achieved with the funding as we move forward.”

In South Copeland, 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. If a suitable site is found in Copeland – a process which could take 10-15 years – a Test of Public Support would give people a direct say over whether or not the project goes ahead.

The GDF may never be located in South Copeland; without suitable geology, community consent, and confirmation from the regulators – The Office for Nuclear Regulation and the Environment Agency – that designs for a GDF, the proposed site, and the science that informs them are safe for people and the environment, the project will not go ahead. However, the Community Partnership is encouraging local people to take advantage of the benefit of being a part of the long-term siting process.

Community Partnerships are groups made up of local people, the GDF developer and local authorities to consider the possibilities of hosting a GDF within an identified Search Area. Three other areas in the UK have Community Partnerships: Mid Copeland and Allerdale in Cumbria and Theddlethorpe in Lincolnshire.

The Community Partnership is keen to hear from groups with projects that could be eligible for Community Investment Funding as the siting process continues in the New Year. For further information go to: Community Investment Funding – South Copeland GDF Community Partnership (