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Much-needed £2 million to charities since Hinkley Point C funding launch

May 9, 2019

Over £2 million* in grants has been awarded to community groups, charities and social enterprises in Somerset from the Hinkley Point C (HPC) Community Fund since it was first launched in November 2017.

Justin Sargent, Chief Executive at Somerset Community Foundation, which administers the Fund, said: “We’re absolutely delighted that the HPC Community Fund has been able to help so many groups and organisations so far. If you have any ideas at all, please do get in touch to discuss them with us.

“The projects we have been able to support with funding so far will benefit our communities for years to come. The sort of applications we tend to look for should be designed to remove or reduce impact and improve quality of life and we always encourage groups to get in touch for a chat. We have a number of ‘Drop-in Days’ coming up over the next few months – there’s no need to book and the next one is in Highbridge at Morland Hall on Wednesday May 22, 10am-4pm. We’re here to advise and support at every stage of the application process.”

The HPC Community Fund delivers the Open Grants Programme for larger applications, typically over £10,000; 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. Visit www.hpcfunds.co.uk for more details on deadlines for applications.

One of the first groups to receive a grant from the HPC Community Fund was Home-Start West Somerset. Based in Minehead, the group 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 the funding from the HPC Community Fund. It has allowed us to make excellent progress in building our Home-Start presence in the areas impacted by the Hinkley Point C build. The funding has meant we are now able to hold monthly Story-Start sessions, delivered in Stogursey, Stogumber, Williton, Dulverton, twice a month in Luxborough, and soon to be in Watchet. We support families in their own homes and have been able to recruit a Home-Start Coordinator. We’re continuing to recruit and train home visiting volunteers - we currently have 12 and counting! We’ve established some wonderful links with the community and local schools and have delivered five paediatric First Aid training sessions for parents so far – that’s over 100 newly trained parents! We also deliver group support (called Jump-Start) for parents or carers of children with additional needs and/or a disability. We’re really pleased with how the funding has supported Home-Start in helping families so far.”

One of the most recent grants to take the funding over the £2 million mark was awarded to Rusty Road 2 Recovery. The Bridgwater-based community group offers a number of recovery services for people of all ages who suffer from mental ill health, including working with iconic British classic vehicles to restore them to their former glory, assistance with vehicle maintenance for financially disadvantaged people in the area, and art therapy sessions. Vince Davis, Director at Rusty Road 2 Recovery, said: “With the help and support from Somerset Community Foundation, the HPC Community Fund grant we’ve been awarded has meant that we can deliver a better and more rewarding service to the people of Sedgemoor - with an immediate effect. The money from the grant is being used to better equip our metalworking workshop, enabling us to teach new skills and trades. This will help our users gain a better, more satisfying and fulfilling life, and also help them back into work.”

The HPC Community Fund is part of a wider £20 million commitment of funding, provided by EDF Energy through Section 106 agreements, for communities that are affected by the development of the new nuclear power station, to promote their social, economic and environmental wellbeing and enhance their quality of life.

If you run a local community project in Somerset and would like to find out more about grant funding from the HPC Community Fund or any other funding that may be available, please call Somerset Community Foundation on: 01749 344949 or visit: www.somersetcf.org.uk

*£2,010,643 – as at 9/5/19

Foot note: 

  • Somerset Community Foundation manages the Hinkley Point C Community Fund to help local communities mitigate the impacts of the development. It is financed by EDF Energy, as part of the Section 106 Agreement for the construction of the Hinkley Point C Power Station. The Section 106 Agreement sets out the scope of the fund as: “Mitigating the intangible and residual impacts of (Hinkley Point C) on the communities in (Somerset) through schemes, measures and projects which promote the economic, social or environmental well-being of those communities and enhance their quality of life”.
  • The total value of the HPC Community Fund was £12.8m (index linked) and follows on from the Community Impact Mitigation Fund (CIM Fund) which provided £7.2m of funding to areas impacted by the project.

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