THE EDF new report into the socio-economic benefits of Hinkley C has a section highlighting how it attempts to mitigate the impacts of the development and tries to be a ‘good neighbour’.

For the duration of the project a total of £20m has been set aside in the form of the Community Fund, administered formerly by West Somerset Council, and now by the Somerset Community Foundation.

Towards the end of 2018, applications for Hinkley Point C’s Community Impact Mitigation (CIM) Fund pushed the total support received by local projects across Somerset to £9.4 million.

The money has been used to support ongoing seafront improvements in Minehead, the building of Wembdon Pavilion and Stogursey’s Victory Hall among others.

Lisa Redston, people, place and prosperity localities manager at Somerset West and Taunton Council said: “It has been a pleasure to see so many community groups stepping up to access this funding.

“In total, 50 projects have received a grant from the HPC CIM Fund to deliver activities, services and facilities that will provide long-term benefits for communities across Somerset.

“I look forward to seeing many more local projects funded through the HPC Community Fund.”

Other examples of EDF investing in the community include The Bridgwater Way (TBW), run by Somerset County Council.

The Bridgwater Way is a multi-million-pound initiative focussed on helping to keep Bridgwater moving as the town goes through a period of significant growth and investment.

A spokesman for the project said: “By providing information, advice and tools we are aiming to help people choose the best time to travel and routes to use or even think about the need to travel in the first place.

“Over the past few years, through the TBW project, a number of road improvements have been made to help traffic flow around the town.

“TBW has invested in new walking and cycling routes and more are planned.

“You can now cycle into Bridgwater from Cannington and North Petherton and improvements are also planned for a route into Bridgwater from Puriton.”

Part of EDF Energy’s commitment to reducing the impact of the HPC construction on the local area is to fund 17 posts within the various local authorities to help manage any issues that may arise.

One of these posts is that of a Community Safety Officer in the town of Bridgwater.

Bridgwater is seeing an increase in its population as a number of the non-home based workforce are staying there, either in the purpose built 1000-bed accommodation Campus or in the Private Rented Sector.

Community safety project officer, Ryan Kelly works closely with the emergency services, third sector organisations, local traders, schools and residents’ groups as well as with members of the general public and the Hinkley Point C workforce itself, and has become the ‘go-to’ person in dealing with any concerns about crime or anti-social behaviour as well as signposting opportunities that the project presents to local people.

On a typical day Ryan will give a presentation to Year 11 students on drug and alcohol awareness, visit a number of caravan sites together with colleagues in the Devon and Somerset Fire Service to advise on fire safety, liaise with the Nelson Trust which conducts outreach to vulnerable females and speak to licence holders in pubs and clubs about the safety and security of their customers.