The project to build a new nuclear power station in Somerset has now awarded more than £13 million to community initiatives in the South-West.
The cash has come from Hinkley Point C’s Community Fund, which has provided vital support to local charities, voluntary organisations, local authorities, and other groups across the region.
£20 million will be awarded to groups during the project’s construction phase, with four different types of grants currently open to applicants.
Andrew Cockcroft (pictured right with Cheddar Parish Council Chair Derek Bradley-Balmer), Senior Community Relations Manager at Hinkley Point C, said: “Our community funding is changing lives for the better now and for many years to come. I’m proud we’ve reached this milestone and I look forward to continuing our work in ensuring local people benefit from Hinkley Point C.”
Just last month, Cheddar Parish Council unveiled its new Community Pavilion – which has been renovated and extended, after being awarded £320,000 from the funding made available for community projects.
The building, which previously featured changing rooms and a kitchenette, now includes a bar area, kitchen, and spacious meeting hall. It will be used by local sports clubs and will be available to hire.
The Chair of Cheddar Parish Council, Derek Bradley-Balmer, said: “This is now a vital asset which can be used by everyone in Cheddar. It’ll make a huge difference to our local sports clubs and countless other community groups – it has already been booked out for a few weddings! This revamp wouldn’t have been possible without the Hinkley Point C’s Community Fund.”
John Bayliss, President of Cheddar Rugby Club, said: “It’s great to see the Cheddar Community Pavilion bursting into life – we haven’t had a proper facility like this for a long time. Our players now have somewhere to socialise after a game and it’s really improving cohesion within the club. It will help our local sports clubs thrive and develop for many years to come.”
Other organisations that have recently benefitted from the fund include the Sedgemoor Dementia Action Alliance, which is using a £5,000 grant to put on a “memory café” for local people living with dementia. The event, which is being held at The Hub in Bridgwater’s Angel Place Shopping Centre, surrounds people with items from the past, in the hope of unlocking memories. The community centre, Minehead Eye is also using a grant of £148,840 to put on a series of activities and events for local youngsters.
Val Bishop, Programmes Director at Somerset Community Foundation (SCF), which administers the grants, said: “The Hinkley Point C Community Fund is helping organisations of all sizes in communities around Hinkley Point C/affected by the construction of Hinkley Point C– improving lives in the process. Applications are open, so please get in touch if you know of an initiative which could benefit from funding.”
Visit www.hpcfunds.co.uk for more information.