GDF Community Partnership Mid Copeland

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£130,000 play park for Thornhill thanks to GDF funding

October 4, 2023

Enjoying the play park

Over 80 people attended the official opening of Thornhill’s new play park on Saturday which was provided thanks to funding from Mid Copeland GDF Community Partnership.

Community Investment Funding (CIF) of £130,871 was awarded to Beckermet with Thornhill Parish Council through the Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) programme.

A GDF is an underground facility designed to safely and securely dispose of higher activity radioactive waste. Mid Copeland GDF Community Partnership provides access to £1million Community Investment Funding (CIF) per year from the programme as discussions progress around what a facility could mean locally.

Julie Nugent, Chair of Beckermet with Thornhill Parish Council, said: “The children are absolutely delighted with their new play park – with one saying it was the ‘best day of his life’ at the opening event!”

Parish councillor Steve Caddy added: “It’s brilliant to be able to provide such new and modern facilities for local families and there is no doubt it will be well used.

“Thanks to funding from the GDF programme, we have been able to make this happen.”

The Mid Copeland GDF Search Area covers the electoral ward of Gosforth which includes Seascale, Gosforth, Beckermet, Calderbridge, Haile, Thornhill, Nethertown and Braystones. The Lake District National Park is excluded from consideration – however CIF can be used for eligible community projects in this area.

Deep geology beyond the coast is being considered for siting the underground elements of a GDF in Mid Copeland. This means a surface facility on, or near, the coast would provide access to a disposal area deep in rock beyond the coast.

The GDF programme requires both a suitable site and a willing community and is still in the early stages. Construction will only start on a GDF when a suitable site is identified, a Potential Host Community has confirmed its willingness to host the facility through a Test of Public Support, and all the necessary consents and permits have been obtained. These steps could take around 15 years.

Take a look at this short video from the opening event.