The £10 million East Coast Community Fund announced in April by DONG Energy is now open to public consultation. National grant-making charity GrantScape has been appointed to complete the consultation process and to administer the Fund.
The Fund will ensure that local people benefit from the operation of two of the DONG Energy's offshore wind farms – Race Bank and Hornsea Project One – which are both now under construction. It will distribute nearly half a million pounds a year to help local initiatives for each of the next 20 years.
Over the next six months GrantScape will be gathering as many views as possible from local people and key stakeholders from coastal communities stretching from Bridlington all the way south around the coast to Hunstanton. The feedback received will help shape what types of projects the Fund will support and where the money will be spent.
The first stage of the process is an online survey. The survey will be open until 14 September and encourages anyone (over 18) to complete it and share their views. GrantScape plans to then meet with key stakeholders including Local Authorities and community and voluntary infrastructure bodies to discuss the Fund in more detail. The final stage of the process will be a series of public exhibitions in October and November which will be open to the general public to find out more about the Fund and discuss their ideas.
"We are really looking forward to engaging with the local communities to make sure we take on board as many views as possible when designing this Fund" said Matt Young, GrantScape's CEO. "This will be the third Community Fund GrantScape is administering on behalf of DONG Energy having already established the Burbo Bank and Walney Extension Community Funds, linked to offshore wind farm developments in Liverpool Bay and the Irish Sea".
"We believe local people should get a chance to benefit from the construction and operation of offshore wind farms which are some of the UK's biggest energy infrastructure projects," said Natasha Nanuck, Stakeholder Advisor for DONG Energy. "This consultation is a great opportunity for people to tell us how the Fund can bring the maximum benefit to their local community."
For further information and to take part in survey please see GrantScape's website or you can call GrantScape on 01908 247634 or email email@example.com if you have any further questions.
About the Race Bank and Hornsea offshore Wind Projects
Race Bank is a 580-megawatt project being built off the North Norfolk coast that will be capable of meeting the electricity needs of over half million UK homes when it becomes fully operational in 2018.
Construction of the onshore substations and installation of around12 kilometres of onshore cable, from Walpole to a point north of Sutton Bridge, has been ongoing since last year, and work has now begun offshore. A vital part of the project will be to the installation of two export cables in the area of the sea defence and the salt marsh. Work started in May.
Hornsea Project One, a 1.2 gigawatt offshore windfarm to be built about 75 miles off the Yorkshire coast, will be able to generate enough electricity to supply over one million UK homes. It is due to be fully operational in 2020.