GDF Community Partnership Mid Copeland

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Learn more about GDF and how to apply for funding at new events

January 4, 2024

Events are being held across Copeland for people to learn more about what a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) could mean for the area and how to apply for Community Investment Funding.

In January, Nuclear Waste Services (NWS) is holding some information drop-in events around geological disposal in Copeland to offer information and answer questions. These are being held on: January 18: Phoenix Enterprise Centre, Cleator Moor, 1-5pm; Jan 25: The Beacon Portal, Whitehaven, 11am-6pm; Jan 31: Methodist Church Hall, Main Street, Egremont, 2-5pm.

In February, the Mid Copeland GDF Community Partnership is inviting people to find out more about Community Investment Funding (CIF) and meet successful applicants who have already been able to provide new facilities.

Through the GDF programme, the Community Partnership has awarded over £2million in two years to a variety of local projects as discussions progress around what a facility could mean for the Mid Copeland area. Events take place on: Feb 21: Beckermet Reading Rooms, 11am-3pm; Feb 29: Gosforth Public Hall, 11am-3pm.

Community Partnership Chair, Andy Pratt, said: “It’s great to see £2million so far being brought into the area from the GDF programme and used to fund community projects to help provide improved or extra facilities needed locally.

“It’s shown real progress for our area and now we’re into Mid Copeland’s third year with a further £1million available.

“These events are a chance for people to see what can be achieved, take a look at the application process with the local team and also speak to those on the ground who have made things happen.”

Also present at the events will be other local funders, including representatives of Cumberland Council, Copeland Community Fund and NWS.

In addition, some general GDF drop-ins will also be held by the Community Partnership:

Feb 1: St Mary’s Church Room, Gosforth, 12.30-4pm; Feb 7: Beckermet Reading Rooms, 12-5pm; Feb 8: Seascale Methodist Church Hall, 1-5pm.

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.