£1m ‘Beddington Community Benefit Fund’ launched to support community-led projects21 November 2016
A major new fund has been launched that will provide community-led projects and organisations in the four boroughs of Sutton, Croydon, Merton and Kingston with one million pounds of financial support over the next 25 years.
The Beddington Community Benefit Fund has been launched by Viridor UK with an initial financial contribution of £250,000. This will be followed by 25 annual contributions of £25,000 plus a £100,000 ‘top-up’ by 2024. With the annual and top-up payments index-linked, it means the total amount available over the next 25 years is likely to be in excess of one million pounds.
The creation of the fund was one of the planning obligations attached to the Beddington Energy Recovery Facility (ERF). Community Benefit Funds are commonly-used methods of ensuring local communities benefit directly from large scale infrastructure developments.
The primary objective of the fund is to support local environmental projects but applications from schemes to promote local arts, culture, sport and wellbeing will also be considered. Any community-led projects within the London boroughs of Sutton, Croydon, Merton or Kingston are eligible for grants of up to £5,000. Projects located within a 2km radius of the Beddington ERF site are able to apply for grants of up to £30,000.
Applications will be reviewed on a quarterly basis by a Funding Panel made up of local community representatives as well as Sutton Council and Viridor.
Councillor Pathumal Ali, Sutton Council’s representative on the Funding Panel, said:
“It is with great pleasure that we are able to launch the Community Benefit Fund associated with the Beddington ERF. As a local resident and a local councillor, I am acutely aware of how important it is that we work with Viridor to minimise the impacts and maximise the benefits of their operations in the area. The Beddington Community Benefit Fund has the potential to support hundreds of projects for the benefit of local people and I welcome it wholeheartedly. I would encourage local groups to put their applications forward for the Panel to consider.”
Mike Stafford, Regional Manager for Viridor, added:
“We are proud to be working with the South London Waste Partnership to help them divert over 95% of their residual household waste away from landfill and generate renewable energy at the same time. We are constructing a £205m state-of-the-art Energy Recovery Facility and with that significant investment in infrastructure also comes a commitment to support the communities in which we work. I encourage any local community projects to investigate whether they are eligible for support from the fund and look forward to reviewing the applications with my fellow panel members.”
Councillor Phil Doyle, Chair of the South London Waste Partnership Joint Committee, said:
“This fund will provide important financial support for all sorts of community projects and initiatives. What’s vitally important now is that groups and projects that are in need of this support are made aware that it is available. The South London Waste Partnership, the four boroughs and Viridor will be working hard over the next 12 months to raise awareness of the fund and ensure the money is put to the best possible use.”
More information about the funding criteria and application forms are available at www.viridor.co.uk/Beddington-erf
Notes for Editors
- Viridor is currently constructing a £205m Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) in Beddington
- Once operational (in 2018), The Beddington ERF will:
- provide local residents and businesses with a cost-effective and environmentally sustainable alternative to landfill
- treat 95% of the waste collected from households in Croydon, Kingston, Merton and Sutton, instead of burying it in the ground
- produce 26MW of electricity each year – enough to power the facility itself plus 30,000 homes
- offer the potential to deliver low-carbon supplies of hot water for heating and domestic use to 19,000 new homes and businesses
- cut carbon emission by 128,000 tonnes per year, when compared to the existing Beddington landfill operation
- enable work to transform the existing Beddington landfill site into a country park and haven for bird life to be accelerated
- attract significant local investment and create 40 permanent jobs