Over £3 million* in grants has been awarded to local initiatives 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: “The HPC Community Fund continues to support many groups and organisations’ projects to improve quality of life and wellbeing in communities most affected by the construction of Hinkley Point C. If you have any ideas that you think we may be able to support with grant funding then please get in touch with us.
“We always encourage groups to discuss their ideas with us first. We have a number of drop-in days coming up over the next few months – there’s no need to book. The next one is at North Petherton Library on Thursday, April 2, 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, or up to £10,000 over three years for charities, 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 groups which recently received a grant from the HPC Community Fund was Wembdon Parklands and Community Together (Wembdon PACT). The group was formed to make the parklands next to the Northern Distribution Road in Bridgwater more accessible for all, enhancing the health and well-being of people in the community, and encouraging the return of wildlife. A grant for £52,960 was awarded from the HPC Community Fund to help redevelop the green space by putting in paths, planting trees and sensory borders, creating a prairie orchard, a nature trail and a picnic area.
Lorna Edwards, Chair at Wembdon PACT, said: “We are so grateful to the HPC Community Fund for helping and supporting us. Without the funding we couldn’t have made this happen. The bulk of the funding has gone into the landscaping and planting; we’ve planted 30 mature trees to increase the woodland and supply habitats for birds and bats, as well as planting and building sensory boarders for those with sight problems or learning disabilities. The grant is already making a difference to those who live in the community, and we are already seeing many wheelchair users of all ages visiting the development.
“We spoke to a lady who lives nearby who was advised by her doctor to take regular walks to improve her strength. Now, because of the new tarmac pathways, she can access the park and is finding she is able to walk a little further with each visit. Without the grant this would never have happened. The funding has made a huge difference to people and we can’t wait to see it in all its glory this summer!”
Somerset Community Foundation has recently awarded over £273,000 in grants from the HPC Community Fund’s Open Grants Programme:
- Minehead Eye were awarded £148,840 for a three-year project to work with young people across West Somerset and support them in building skills and resilience;
- Work-Wise, based in Taunton, were awarded £39,345 for a three year project to start a job club in Bridgwater, based at Westfield United Reformed Church, to support people in finding employment, as well as increasing what they offer in Taunton.
- Bridgwater Unit 517 of the Sea Cadet Corps were awarded £84,850 to complete renovations for their community building in Bridgwater which serves many local groups.
The HPC Community Fund is part of a wider £20 million commitment of funding, provided by EDF 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 please call Somerset Community Foundation on: 01749 344949 or visit: www.hpcfunds.co.uk
*£3,293,357 as at 3/3/2020