Two community projects in South Copeland have been awarded grant funding as the area takes part in discussions about whether it could be the right place to host a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF). This is the first funding to be allocated from the Community Investment Fund in this Search Area.
Formation of the South Copeland GDF Community Partnership has given access to £1million Community Investment Funding per year from the GDF programme as conversations continue around the opportunity to host a facility locally. The Search Area includes the electoral wards of Millom and Black Combe & Scafell.
Funding is available to support projects that provide economic development opportunities, enhance the natural and built environment, or improve community wellbeing.
A GDF is an underground facility designed to safely and securely dispose of higher activity radioactive waste. Community Partnerships are long-term 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.
The two projects to benefit from this first round of funding are:
- Millom Cricket Club: £31,236 to make improvements to the clubhouse and facilities
- Around the Combe: £5,000 towards the continuation and sustainability of the community magazine
Millom Cricket Club are intending to make improvements to the clubhouse and facilities to ensure that the club can provide a safe and friendly environment for all to enjoy well into the future. The funding will allow the replacement of the clubhouse roof, development of a seating and picnic area, and supply equipment such as site screens and pitch covers.
Martin Burn, Millom Cricket Club, said: “This funding is fantastic news for Millom Cricket Club as it will allow us to carry out vital roof repairs to our clubhouse and is also enabling us to improve our facilities and grounds, ensuring that cricket and other community events can be continued to be held and enjoyed in a safe and welcoming environment for many years to come.”
Around the Combe Community magazine, which is now in its 7th year, is unique in Copeland. It is free and hand-delivered by over 40 community ambassadors to 5,500 houses in 13 areas around Black Combe bi-monthly. The 32-page magazine was created to promote health and wellbeing, signpost to groups and services and reduce social isolation. In addition, the magazines social media pages and website run live updates to over 13,000 people.
Jenny Brumby, Around the Combe, said: “Around the Combe community group are ecstatic to receive the funding to continue to create the community magazine, over the past 8 years the magazine has become a lifeline to people who live between Waberthwaite and Broughton in Furness. We look forward to sharing lots of positive news and local information to over 11,000 people in the area. We would like to thank South Copeland GDF Community Partnership for the sponsorship which enables the team to create 6 issues over the next 12 months.”
Ged McGrath, Chair of South Copeland GDF Community Partnership, said: “I am delighted that the Community Partnership is now able to begin awarding grant funding to local projects. This will help to make a positive difference to our community while it takes part in the GDF process. The applications that we are receiving are varied and if successful will be of great benefit to the South Copeland area. I encourage other community groups, organisations and businesses to find out more and apply.”
A GDF requires a suitable site and a willing community. Deep geology beyond the coast is 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 decision which could take 10-15 years – a Test of Public Support to give people a direct say would be held with those living in the wards affected. Without public support the project would not go ahead.
A community that has a suitable site and takes the opportunity to host a GDF will receive significant additional investment and long-term benefits for future generations, including jobs and skills.
If you would like to find out further information about the South Copeland GDF Community Partnership see here.
Other ways to contact the Partnership include email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 0300 369 0000.