GDF Community Partnership Mid Copeland

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2nd Seascale Scout Group showcases ideas and learning around GDF

May 7, 2024

30 scouts and leaders cheering holding their posters about what their town could look like

2nd Seascale Scout Group with their designs


A water sports centre, pop-up cinema and virtual reality gaming area are just some ideas emerging from a group of young people in Seascale.

The 2nd Seascale Scout Group was asked what their future community could look like as part of a project with Mid Copeland GDF Community Partnership and careers guidance provider Inspira around what a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) could mean for their area.

Thirty scouts considered what Seascale looks like now, what it could look like in 5/10 years’ time and what it could look like in 50 years.

They showcased their ideas to Community Partnership members, staff and some parents during an event at Seascale School.

Illustrations brought their ideas to life and included:

  • Sea water pool, beach huts and water sports centre
  • Development of Coniston Park to include a multi-use games area, youth shelters
  • Pop up cinema
  • Nature trails with signage
  • Dedicated wildlife areas such as a bug hotel, hedgehog houses
  • Improved public toilets and bins
Community Partnership Chair Andy Pratt and two scouts look at one of the designs which they are holding

Community Partnership Chair Andy Pratt discusses some of the scouts’ designs

The Community Partnership has started to consider how a community vision could benefit the local area and what it would contain, should a GDF be hosted in Mid Copeland.

Seascale Parish Council is also going to work with the scouts to apply for Nuclear Waste Services’ GDF Community Investment Funding (CIF) and make some of the ideas a reality in the shorter term.

David Moore, Seascale Parish Council member on the Community Partnership, handed out certificates to the scouts and said: “Visioning work is really important to us, this is your future and it’s important that you have a view so thank you for your time and commitment. And looking at some of these ideas, there’s things we can get started on in the short term.”

Neil Henderson, Scout Troop Lead Volunteer, said: “The scouts were introduced to GDF and the transformation that it might bring to the area. Once they realised the kind of things that might be possible, their imaginations ran wild and some incredible and thoughtful ideas were generated, culminating with the scouts enthusiastically describing their ideas to the visitors.

“The entire process gave the scouts a good insight into the issues relating to the GDF. They also earned part of their Teamwork badge, which will help them towards their Chief Scout’s Gold Awards.”

A GDF is an underground facility designed to safely and securely dispose of higher activity radioactive waste.

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.

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.