£15 million investment in Norfolk communities unveiled

  • More than £15 million planned for community projects – the largest funding commitment to Norfolk by an offshore wind company
  • First awards to be made when cable laying work starts – potentially as early as late 2023 –to run throughout the 25-year lifetime of Norfolk Vanguard and Norfolk Boreas.
  • Conversations already under way with communities about how to spend the money with a series of events starting in January.

Vattenfall today unveiled plans to invest more than £15 million in community projects across Norfolk through its offshore wind farms.

Vattenfall today unveiled plans to invest more than £15 million in community projects across Norfolk through its offshore wind farms.

The 25-year fund will be the biggest by an offshore wind developer in the county.

The first round of funds from the Norfolk Zone Community Benefit Fund will be unlocked in late 2023 when cable laying work is expected to begin.  

Almost 1500 residents across the county have already shared their views on the priorities and opportunities for the funding in the first round of conversations, with jobs and skills, the environment and wildlife emerging as key priorities.

More work with communities close to the onshore cabling and substation will begin in the New Year to explore, in more detail, projects that the funding could make possible.

Dr Catrin Ellis Jones, Head of Stakeholder and Community Engagement for Offshore Wind at Vattenfall, said:

“People in Norfolk recognise that society needs to make changes to prevent climate change accelerating dangerously. This includes action at community and individual levels. As good neighbours in Norfolk, we want to support communities to make that change happen in their community and connect to what they love about Norfolk.”

“This funding will offer the potential to bring to life community ideas for tackling and adapting to climate change and will mean that communities can plan and think for the longer term with the certainty that a 25-year fund will be in place to support their vision.

A wide range of ideas and priorities emerged from early discussions.  In the new year, a series of events in communities will develop suggestions to ensure this exciting, long-term investment works for communities.

The first community workshop is planned for the Necton area in January 2022.

“We know we can work together to build a positive legacy. This funding is one of many long-term investments in Norfolk. We will soon announce additional commitments to fund local training, skills and work with local businesses that will boost the region’s economy and ability to take a leading role in the global offshore wind industry,” Dr Ellis Jones said.

The fund will be managed independently of Vattenfall, with people living in Norfolk taking the lead in how awards were implemented.

“This funding brings many possibilities. We will be sharing some stories of communities we work with across the UK who are devising their own climate-smart initiatives to inspire the potential that this funding can unlock.”

“Whether you are considering projects that will help your community live more comfortably, safely, happily and be kinder to the planet at the same time, by reducing your carbon-footprint, or whether your focus is on schemes that help your community to adapt to the effects of climate change, we’d like to hear your ideas for support from the Norfolk Zone Community Benefit Fund.”

If you would like to take part in the conversation going forward, please register here.

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