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Successful community networking day for HPC grant recipients

A networking event hosted by Somerset Community Foundation (SCF) was recently held for the recipients of grants from the Hinkley Point C (HPC) Community Fund at St George’s Parish Centre, in Wembdon.

The Fund, provided by EDF Energy’s Hinkley Point C Project and managed by SCF, was launched in November 2017. So far it has awarded over £2 million in grants to projects and initiatives that help mitigate the impacts and increase the opportunities arising from the construction of the new power station. The event was an opportunity for community groups, charities and public sector agencies to learn more about the projects and activities the Fund has supported, as well as develop new partnerships and relationships.

Around 60 people from nearly 45 different organisations came together to enjoy ‘speed networking’ alongside more leisurely networking, over tea and cake. Over a dozen groups showcased the work they have delivered in the community, including Bridgwater Photographic Society; Sydenham Table Tennis Club, Bridgwater; Escape Support Group, Taunton; Stand Against Violence, Taunton; and Ups and Downs Southwest.

Val Bishop, Programmes Director at Somerset Community Foundation, said: “We are delighted that we are able to host our first networking event for the organisations who have been awarded grants from the HPC Community Fund since it first launched in late 2017. From Wembdon Art Group, which received £400, to The Nelson Trust, which was given £368,000; all these groups are changing lives within our communities. This event is an opportunity to share and celebrate their successes, and hopefully foster partnerships which will result in new work in the future.”

Wilstockhub was awarded £300,000 in July of this year towards the costs of building a new community facility in Wilstock, Bridgwater. Lucinda Spelman-Ives, the Chairman of Trustees at Wilstockhub, attended the event and said: “We found the HPC Community Fund Networking Day really useful for connecting with other grant holders, sharing our inspiring stories and enabling future collaborations. It was such a friendly atmosphere and a great opportunity for everyone to showcase their projects. To receive such a fantastic reaction from others really builds confidence in what you are aiming to achieve. I came away on cloud nine, it was such a brilliant day. 

“We were absolutely delighted to receive our grant from the HPC Community Fund earlier this year. Wilstock and Stockmoor are attractive new developments comprising 1,345 homes already built, with another 400+ which are in the process of being built. They are just 13 miles from Hinkley Point C and with few community resources. The grant will go towards building a desperately needed new community centre.”

If you have an idea for a community project 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:

The next HPC Community Fund Small Grants deadline (for grants of up to £5,000) is Friday, 28 November and the Open Grants deadline (for major grants of up to £50,000 and over £50,000) is Friday, 3 January, 2020.

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