£1.8m Hinkley Point C funding to local projects in first year
The Hinkley Point C (HPC) Community Fund has awarded 39 grants to local projects and schemes, community groups, charities and social enterprises since it was first launched in November 2017, totalling a remarkable £1,824,807.
The fund is financed by EDF Energy as part of the new Hinkley Point C power station build  and is administered by Somerset Community Foundation. It is designed to support schemes that will help to mitigate the impacts of the construction of Hinkley Point and increase the opportunities for local communities to benefit from the project. It forms part of a wider package of community funding worth £9.4million so far, including grants awarded from the CIM Fund.
The CIM Fund was administered by West Somerset District Council but has now closed to new applications, but the HPC Community Fund remains open for funding bids.
Val Bishop, Programmes Director at Somerset Community Foundation, said: “We’re absolutely delighted that the HPC Community Fund has been able to help so many groups and organisations over the past twelve months.
“The projects we have been able to support with funding so far will benefit our communities and leave a lasting legacy for years to come. The sort of applications we encourage may be designed to remove or reduce impact and improve quality of life – so if you have any ideas at all, please do contact us to discuss your ideas with us. I always encourage groups to get in touch for a chat – we’re here to advise and support at every stage of the application process.”
The HPC Community Fund is divided into the Open Grants Programme for larger applications, typically over £10,000, with a deadline on Thursday 13 December; and the Small Grants Programme awards grants of up to £5,000 to charities or up to £10,000 over three years for voluntary groups and social enterprises that normally operate on less than £100,000 per year, with the next deadline on Friday 28 December. Visit www.hpcfunds.co.uk for more details.
Home-Start West Somerset, based in Minehead, West Somerset, provide a befriending support service for vulnerable families, and activities and events for the community. Clare Pound, Manager and Senior Support Co-ordinator said: “We are absolutely thrilled with our successful grant application from the HPC Community Fund and have made excellent progress in building our Home-Start presence in the areas impacted by the Hinkley Point C build. The funding has ensured we are in a position to hold monthly Story-Start sessions and holiday activities, and support families in their own homes, and the recruitment of a Home-start coordinator who works directly in these areas is in progress. We’re really pleased with how the funding has supported Home-Start in helping families in these areas and aim to continue this beneficial development.”
David Eccles, Head of Hinkley Point C Stakeholder Engagement said: “The fund is helping to make a real difference to the communities hosting Hinkley Point C. We are privileged to have such strong support from the people living in Somerset as we deliver this transformational project, and we’re proud to be able to invest in partnership with the great organisations that are out there making positive change happen.”
 The HPC Community Fund is part of the overall Section 106 agreement signed by EDF Energy and local councils for a series of measures designed to avoid or reduce impacts of the HPC project on communities and help them make the most of the opportunities. The fund is particularly designed to respond to ‘intangible and residual’ impacts in local communities.