Community Funds & Socio-Economic Support
The concept of ‘community benefits’ or ‘community funds’ is well established, both in relation to radioactive waste facilities, and a range of other developments. The issue of community benefits is of great interest to NuLeAF member local authorities, and there has been an ongoing dialogue with Government and the NDA as to a suitable approach to this issue. NuLeAF published a Briefing Paper on this topic in 2020
There are already a number of community funds in existing around nuclear licensed sites. These include:
The Copeland Community Fund, Cumbria: LLWR Limited provides £35,000 per annum for local community schemes with the potential for a further £30,000 from their Parent Body Organisation (PBO). This is available to communities within a 15 mile radius of the site. In addition, under Section 106 the NDA has committed to paying £1.5 million per year, following an initial endowment of £10 million, into the Copeland Community Fund, for the period of operation of vault 9 (around 10 years). The income or capital from the fund will be available to be spent on initiatives that are consistent with the NDA’s socio-economic policy, including employment, education and skills, economic and social infrastructure and economic diversification.
King’s Cliffe, Northamptonshire: Augean contribute £5 per tonne of LLW disposed to the East Northamptonshire Resource Management Facility (ENRMF) landfill site at King’s Cliffe in Northamptonshire. This was included in the Section 2016 agreement.
Future funds would include that associated with the Geological Disposal Facility. In the 2014 White Paper, Government gives a commitment to substantial community investment (‘Community Benefits’) in recognition of the service to the nation that any host community will play. The investment could help fund education and training, improved recreational facilities or transport infrastructure and would be in addition to any agreement for mitigation measures such as those agreed through Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. All communities entering the process will receive community investment up to £1million per annum. This would rise to £2.5 million per year for a community or communities progressing to the stage where borehole investigations were undertaken. Following final agreement, the successful community would receive much more significant investment. This is not defined in the White Paper but is expected to amount to hundreds of millions of pounds in total.