Leiston/Sizewell: Community groups to get £150,000 from Greater Gabbard wind farm development

Greater Gabbard wind farm

Greater Gabbard wind farm - Credit: Archant

Renewable energy chiefs are handing a cash boost of £150,000 to communities on the Suffolk coast.

People living in Leiston and Sizewell will benefit from the grant, which has been made available through the Greater Gabbard Offshore Wind Farm.

Developers SSE and RWE npower renewables will donate £150,000 to help support local groups.

The fund will be distributed over a six-year period through a grant-making programme managed by independent administrators, Suffolk Community Foundation.

John Hill, Greater Gabbard Offshore Wind Farm project director, said: “Since we began construction, we have developed strong connections with the local community.

“We’re keen to strengthen these connections even further and hope that this fund will see us continue to be a good neighbour to the people of Leiston and Sizewell.

“We’re really pleased to be working with Suffolk Community Foundation as we believe they are in the ideal position to ensure that our donation is put to the best possible use, having a long and well established record of helping support good causes in the area.”

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The 140-turbine 500MW Greater Gabbard began operation in 2012, generating enough electricity to power half a million homes.

Its substation infrastructure was built on land owned by EDF Energy’s Sizewell B power station.

As a condition of using this –and as a thank you from the developers to the local community – the new fund was established.

Stephen Singleton, CEO of Suffolk Community Foundation, said: “This is a real boost for charities and community groups working in Leiston and Sizewell, and we know that this support will be greatly welcomed and put to good use in the months and years to come.”

Jim Crawford, station director for Sizewell B, added: “This is an excellent example of a commercial partnership, between EDF Energy and the developers of Greater Gabbard Offshore Wind Farm, SSE and RWE npower renewables, coming together to support local communities.”

Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey has also welcomed the grant.

She said: “I’m pleased that SSE and RWE are making an investment in providing renewable energy along our green coast and are also providing a significant fund to support local community groups.”

For more information on applying for funding visit www.suffolkcf.org.uk or call 01473 602602.