East Riding To Share In New £25m Commitment To Coastal Communities

East Riding To Share In New £25m Commitment To Coastal Communities
East Riding To Share In New £25m Commitment To Coastal Communities

Dogger Bank Wind Farm has announced a £25million commitment to coastal communities in the North and North-East of England, developing a long-term legacy for the world-leading renewable energy project.

The commitment includes funding projects in East Riding of Yorkshire, Redcar and Cleveland and South Tyneside, to enhance STEM education, and help young people gain the skills and knowledge required to fulfil their potential in a net zero world.

The £25million investment will be delivered over the 35-year operational lifespan of Dogger Bank Wind Farm – set to be the world’s largest offshore wind farm when it is complete. It builds on the £1million community fund already invested during the construction phase of the wind farm.

The East Riding programme has been developed in partnership with East Riding of Yorkshire Council and local skills and education stakeholders.  Bespoke science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) learning programmes will be available to all nursery and primary schools. Hundreds of teachers have already benefitted from STEM and careers focused professional development as they bring STEM learning to life within classrooms.

Hornsea Nursey is one of the settings which benefitted from funding through the community fund set up during the construction phase.

Claire White executive headteacher for Hornsea, Manor, and Hedon nursery schools said: “Young children are natural scientists and engineers. Their inquiring minds and fearless approach to taking things apart and discovering how they work make them the perfect age to get excited about STEM. If we can foster this enthusiasm in the early years and ensure they develop a thirst for learning in subjects not typically introduced at this age, we can ignite a passion that will endure throughout their formal education and beyond. We can help cultivate the next generation of scientists, engineers, architects, mathematicians, ecologists, and more. This is the impact and potential legacy of the Dogger Bank funding.”

This announcement takes place during Wind Energy Week 2024 and represents one of the largest community investments in offshore wind in the UK.

Merlin Joseph, Executive Director of children’s services in East Riding said: “Through funding from Dogger Bank Wind Farm, a tailored range of opportunities is available to all primary schools and maintained nurseries in the East Riding, aiming to connect learning in schools to the jobs and opportunities of the future.  

“STEM education helps children understand the breadth of career opportunities available. It also encourages children to prepare for a net zero world and challenge themselves to live sustainable lives.

“The collaboration between education and business is leading a cultural change so children can be trailblazers in STEM and in their careers.”

The investment includes growing the wind farm’s current scholarship programme, with 30 scholarships a year for local university students studying STEM subjects. The fund will also continue to support community projects and local organisations with grants of up to £1,000. Local organisations can now submit their applications through the Dogger Bank website.

Oliver Cass, Dogger Bank Project Director, said: “It’s been our great privilege during the last three years to work with education providers and local communities to kickstart a programme of investment that is bringing long-term benefits for communities.

“It is vitally important that developers work in partnership with local communities in order to sustainably deliver the critical green energy infrastructure that will shape our future.”

Dogger Bank is situated over 130km from the Yorkshire coast and will produce enough renewable energy to supply electricity to six million homes in the UK annually. The wind farm, a joint venture between SSE Renewables, Equinor, and Vårgrønn, produced first power in October 2023. The first two phases of the wind farm will transmit renewable energy into the national electricity network via the Creyke Beck substation near Beverley, close to the site where the project has built two onshore convertor stations over the last five years.

The project has already created or supported over 2,000 jobs in the UK, contributing to over 100,000 UK offshore wind jobs needed to meet current national targets to generate 50GW of capacity by 2030.

Dogger Bank’s community fund will continue to focus over the next three years on the key communities of East Riding of Yorkshire and Redcar & Cleveland where the renewable energy from the wind farm comes ashore, and South Tyneside, which is home to the wind farm’s operation and maintenance base. Once the project is fully commissioned in 2026, the community fund will continue to invest in each community, with an emphasis on the South Tyneside area, where the wind farm has a long-term presence. 

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