GDF Community Partnership Mid Copeland

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GDF Community Investment Funding events showcase achievements

March 11, 2024

Almost 50 people attended Mid Copeland GDF Community Partnership events recently to learn more about how to apply for Community Investment Funding from the Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) programme.

Held in Beckermet and Gosforth, the events also offered a chance to meet other local people who had successfully applied for funding and provided new facilities in the Mid Copeland area. Cumberland Council, Copeland Community Fund and Nuclear Waste Services representatives attended to provide details of their funding opportunities.

Through the GDF programme, the Community Partnership has awarded £2million in two years to a variety of local projects as discussions progress around what a facility could mean for the Mid Copeland area.

Community Partnership Chair, Andy Pratt, said: “We were delighted with the number of people who came through the doors during the two half days we held these community events. People were pleased to have the opportunity to speak to a range of different funders we brought together.

“The Partnership received some excellent feedback from those attending, who got to see what can be achieved with Community Investment Funding, now in its third year for Mid Copeland, as well as from other funding providers. We hope to again organise something similar later in the year.”

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 – however CIF can be used for eligible community projects benefiting 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.