Vattenfall - Norfolk Projects’ Community Benefit Fund

Vattenfall

Earlier this year Vattenfall launched the first phase of its dialogue seeking input to shape Vattenfall’s Norfolk Zone Community Benefit Fund.

 

Today (25 November 2021) Vattenfall publishes the report describing Norfolk residents’ views, and announced the value of the fund: £15 million for community projects over twenty-five years – the largest funding commitment to Norfolk by an offshore wind company.

 

Vattenfall thanks those who took the time to complete its survey. If you were unable to get involved in this first phase of the dialogue, there are other opportunities (see below).

 

The early dialogue intended to establish some common understanding of what residents in Norfolk value today, and what kinds of initiatives to support climate smarter living they would prioritise. This information can be built on by communities, and help people generate ideas about what kind of local potential the community benefit fund can help them unlock. Around 1,500 residents across the county shared their views on the priorities and opportunities for the funding in this first round of conversation, with jobs and skills, the environment and wildlife emerging as key priorities.

 

People in Norfolk recognise that society needs to make adjustments to prevent climate change accelerating dangerously. Deploying offshore wind is an efficient, large-scale action that can enable the electrification of many of the services we take for granted today, and support the economy and provide new jobs directly and through the supply chain. But we also know we all need to act on a community and on individual levels too. As good neighbours in Norfolk, Vattenfall want to support communities to play their part, and also to reconnect perhaps to what they love about Norfolk already. In some instances, it may be that communities need to adapt to the impacts of climate change already, and this fund may also provide that kind of support.

 

When will the funding be available?

We know from having set up highly successful funds elsewhere that setting up a good community benefit scheme takes time. We began this dialogue early on to ensure that local people are involved in designing the fund and its criteria for awards. Community involvement from the start ensures the fund provides a lasting legacy of locally appropriate initiatives and support.

 

First awards will be made when cable laying work starts – potentially as early as late 2023 – and will run throughout the 25-year lifetime of Norfolk Vanguard and Norfolk Boreas. There is time for people to get involved and start working in their communities to plan projects that can apply for funding.

 

Next steps

Please find a summary of the first phase of our dialogue on our website here: https://bit.ly/3134I9C. If you have any questions or know someone who would like a paper copy, contact info@norfolkvanguard.co.uk or freephone 0800 019 3517.

 

We’re continuing the conversation to ensure that the fund remains based on, and responsive to, community interests, needs and aspirations. There will be further opportunities to get involved, and influence how the fund will be spent, next year, when we will host a series of community workshops.

 

These workshops will explore our findings, share inspirational stories of communities in other regions of the UK that are benefitting from our community benefit funds, and discuss the next phase of the fund for the Norfolk region. We will ask how we can best support Norfolk communities and the feedback received will help us develop schemes that can help deliver on local interests and needs, such as adapting to changing climate conditions. The first workshop is scheduled for the end of January 2022, and we will be sharing more information about them in due course.

 

If you would like to take part in the conversation going forward, and are not yet signed up to receive our e-shots and newsletters, then please register here: Norfolk Web Reg Form.

 

Please share this link to help spread the word and ensure we receive an even wider range of views in the next phase of our dialogue.

 

If you have any suggestions for how we might be able to increase participation in our community benefit fund dialogue across Norfolk, we would welcome your feedback. If you have any questions, please do get in touch using the contact details above. We look forward to continuing the conversation in the new year.