GDF Community Partnership South Copeland

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Newsletter – Issue 12

December 14, 2021

Welcome to the December edition of the Copeland GDF Working Group newsletter – which is our final one. A second Community Partnership has now formed, in South Copeland, to take forward discussions on geological disposal and what it could mean locally.

For the Working Group, this means that it will now close as its work is complete.

The South Copeland GDF Community Partnership, which follows the formation of Mid Copeland last month, has its own Search Area which includes the electoral wards of Millom and Black Combe & Scafell.

And it means that the South Copeland area now has access to £1million investment funding as part of the Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) siting process, in addition to the £1million also available to Mid Copeland (which includes the electoral wards of Gosforth & Seascale and Beckermet).

Mid Copeland GDF Community Partnership has already had some enquiries about its Community Investment Funding (CIF) and I would encourage people in both areas to take a look at the websites for details of how to apply: You can also email the team directly: or

I’ve been invited to Chair both Community Partnerships for an initial period of a few months until more members and a Chair for each are recruited – which is our priority.

A Selection Panel will identify prospective members for the Community Partnership – they will consider the types of skills, knowledge and experience that the Community Partnership will need.

So, if you want to get involved in either Community Partnership, or enquire about Community Investment Funding then take a look at our websites for further information: and

Other ways to get in touch are via email: or, telephone 0300 369 0000 or write to: Mid/South Copeland GDF Community Partnership, GDF Enquiries, PO Box 734, Swansea SA1 9RP. You can also follow the Partnerships on social media:

Twitter: @copelandM_CP

Linkedin: Mid Copeland GDF Community Partnership

Facebook: MidCopelandGDFCommunityPartnership

Twitter: @copelandS_CP

Linkedin: South Copeland GDF Community Partnership

Facebook: SouthCopelandGDFCommunityPartnership

For more details about the South Copeland GDF Community Partnership, please see our press release below.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.






Mark Cullinan

Independent Chair

Copeland GDF Working Group


Second GDF Community Partnership forms in Copeland

A second Community Partnership has formed in Copeland to take forward discussions around geological disposal.

The South Copeland GDF Community Partnership has now launched, with its own Search Area, which includes the electoral wards of Millom and Black Combe & Scafell.

Radioactive Waste Management (RWM) is considering the potential of the deep geology beyond the coast for siting the underground elements of a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF). The Copeland Working Group recommended this area for RWM’s initial focus.

This means a surface facility on the coast could provide access to a disposal area deep in rock beyond the coast. The area within the Lake District National Park (LDNP) and proposed extension will continue to be excluded from consideration, as will any existing or future coal mines.

A GDF is an underground facility designed to safely and securely dispose of higher activity radioactive waste. Community Partnerships are longer-term groups made up of a larger number of people to consider the possibilities of hosting a GDF within the identified Search Areas in more detail.

Progressing to the formation of a Community Partnership in South Copeland, now unlocks access to £1m a year investment funding for the community, for local projects, rising to £2.5m per year if deep borehole investigations to assess geology take place.

The news follows the launch of the Mid Copeland GDF Community Partnership last month. Now that two Community Partnerships have formed, the Copeland Working Group comes to an end as it has fulfilled its remit to begin conversations about GDF; identify Search Areas and identify initial members for Community Partnerships.

To begin with, Mark Cullinan (former Chair of the Working Group) will Chair South Copeland GDF Community Partnership until more members join and another Chair is appointed.

One of the first main tasks for the Community Partnership is to recruit more community members. So far, local councillors are joining the Partnership alongside RWM, Copeland Borough Council and Cumbria Association of Local Councils (CALC).

Mark Cullinan said: “We’re pleased to launch this second Community Partnership in South Copeland to take forward discussions and engagement with the community around geological disposal.

“This Community Partnership is a starting point to consider possibilities in more detail and a chance to ensure your voice is heard. A priority for us is to recruit more community members, reflective of the local area, and also to provide information on how people can apply for the Community Investment Funding (CIF).”

CIF is now available for projects that would benefit communities in the South Copeland Search Area. It can be used to support initiatives that provide economic development opportunities, enhance the natural and built environment, or improve community wellbeing.

Construction of a GDF requires both a suitable site and willing host community. If a suitable site is found in Copeland – which could take 10-15 years – a Test of Public Support, which would give people a direct say, would be held with those within the host community. Without public support the project would not go ahead.

Some of the early work for RWM, which was supported by the Working Group, will include conducting geophysical surveys to gather evidence about the nature of the deep rocks in an area off the coast of Copeland in summer 2022.

The community that takes the opportunity to host a GDF will receive significant additional investment and long-term benefits for future generations, including jobs and skills.

Please see the website for further information including details of how to apply for Community Investment Funding: