Energy unveils £100million of community funding for Somerset
could be set to receive community funding from EDF Energy after
the firm this week signed an agreement with local councils to
deliver nearly £100 million for local communities to mitigate
the impact of its proposed new nuclear power station at Hinkley
hailed the 'breakthrough settlement' on Tuesday, saying that the
deal with West Somerset, Sedgemoor District and Somerset County
Council resolves all the councils' principal issues relating to
the application to build the new power station.
follows months of detailed discussions on how best to reduce the
impact of the development on the local community.
the section 106 agreement, more than £64 million will be
spent on supporting local communities and services such as education,
training, transport and housing. This is in addition to about
£30 million committed by EDF Energy earlier this year in
relation to site preparation works.
to development consent from the Secretary of State, the new investment
package, which includes financial payments and contingency funds,
will pay for a range of measures for communities most affected
by the development.
measures include up to £8.5 million for a housing fund to
mitigate potential impacts on the local housing market, including
the refurbishment of local properties. There will also be £12.8
million as the balance of a £20 million community fund for
measures to enhance the quality of life in local communities.
£12.8 million will be independently administered by the
Somerset Community Foundation, with council, community and EDF
Energy representation on the awarding panel.
£16 million will be spent on a variety of highway improvement
schemes, particularly in and around Bridgwater, to ease traffic
and enhance road safety.
over £7.1 million will be spent on improving local skills
and training, including a final £2 million installment for
the Energy Skills Centre at Bridgwater College.
will also be £4.6 million for community safety measures,
£5.5 million to support economic development and tourism
initiatives, over £3 million to support local education
provision and provide extra school places, almost £1 million
to support local health services, £300,000 for local heritage,
£350,000 to pay for landscape and visual improvements, over
£440,000 to support improvements to public rights of way,
£865,000 for environmental measures and more than £3.6
million to provide additional resources to the local authorities
so that they can monitor and ensure the successful implementation
of the development and continue to work closely with local communities.
de Rivaz, EDF Energy's Chief Executive, said: "This is a
landmark agreement for the people of Somerset and for the project.
It provides a strong springboard for success. During three years
of consultation, we have worked very closely with the local authorities
and other groups to identify and mitigate the impact of our proposals.
I am delighted that we have agreed a targeted investment programme
that will support local communities."
heralds a new phase in the Hinkley project and is another important
stepping stone ahead of our final investment decision. We look
forward to moving ahead in partnership and realising the many
opportunities that this important development will deliver, locally
and for the nation."
Council Leader Cllr Duncan McGinty said: "Now the planning
process is in its final stages, and we have reached agreement
with EDF Energy on the best way forward should consent be granted,
all our energies must go into making this a development of which
the country and our communities can be proud. This will be a huge
project that has the ability to shape and change the nature of
the local economy so our role will be to work with EDF to make
sure our expectations are fulfilled."
David Hall, Somerset County Councils Cabinet Member for
Economic Development, added: "The Councils have worked extremely
hard with EDF to minimise any negative impacts that may arise
for the community, local businesses and the environment should
the development go ahead. Very good progress has been made and
with the benefit of the additional measures that EDF will now
be putting in place we believe the project will be acceptable
should the Secretary of State grant consent."
new investment package is subject to planning consent and a final
investment decision on the Hinkley Point C project by the end
of this year.
Top, Bridgwater College's Energy Skills Centre student Callum
James shows EDF Energy's team and local councillors where some
of the £94m of investment is being used to help Somerset
prepare for the planned new power station.