Communities living around the site of the UK’s proposed Hinkley Point C nuclear project in Somerset could receive up to £128 million in funding as part of a new package of community benefits announced by the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change.

Under the new proposals, communities around eight sites in England and Wales (Hinkley Point, Sizewell, Wylfa, Oldbury, Sellafield, Bradwell, Heysham, and Hartlepool) could receive benefits worth up to £1000/MW over 40 years from when the nuclear power stations begin operating.

DECC said that it would introduce the community benefits "in recognition of the impact that the proposed nuclear projects will have on those living in the surrounding area."

The benefits package is "proportionate to the scale and lifespan of new nuclear power stations and it builds on the major economic benefits they will bring in terms of jobs, investment and use of local services," Business and Energy Minister Michael Fallon said.

The benefits package would be received in two stages.

Local authorities hosting new nuclear power stations will benefit for up to the first ten years of operation from a share of the significant increase in business rates revenues that will arise. Then, from 2030 to 2060, local communities will receive further funding from central government.

The announcement was welcomed by Sedgemoor District Council, which would share the community benefits for Hinkley C with West Somerset and Somerset County Councils.


Photo: Hinkley Point C (source: EDF Energy)