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Awards 2024
Gillian Johnston Community Engagement Manager for Mid Copeland GDF Community Partnership

Ask the experts - GDF events focus on what matters to local people

Mid Copeland GDF Community Partnership is holding a series of events to talk about what a Geological Disposal Facility could mean - with experts answering questions on the subjects which matter most to local people.

Following feedback from three weeks of drop-ins held in March, these larger scale events will focus on the areas people said they would like to hear more about – including geology, the GDF siting process and Community Investment Funding.

Gillian Johnston, Community Engagement Manager for the Community Partnership, said: “We had really good discussions with people during those three weeks which included many different subject areas. People asked us questions, brought some concerns and also spoke about the opportunities.

“We also asked people what particular areas they wanted to hear more about - to continue those discussions. Among those was the suitability of the local geology, what would happen during the siting process and the £1million Community Investment Funding.

“At these upcoming events we will have people who can answer further questions and have some more in-depth discussions, so please come along.”

The events are as follows:

Tuesday, May 17: Drigg and Carleton Village Hall, 10-6pm

Wednesday, May 18: Beckermet Reading Rooms, 12-5pm

Thursday, May 19: Seascale Golf Club, 12-7pm

Friday, May 20: Gosforth Public Hall, 12-6pm

Saturday, May 21: Thornhill Social Club, 10am-3pm

A GDF is an underground facility designed to safely and securely dispose of higher activity radioactive waste. Community Partnerships are long-term groups made up of local people, the GDF developer and local authorities to consider the possibilities of hosting a GDF within an identified Search Area. The Mid Copeland Search Area includes the electoral wards of Gosforth & Seascale and Beckermet.

Deep geology beyond the coast is being considered for siting the underground elements of a GDF. This means a surface facility on, or near, the coast would provide access to a disposal area deep in rock beyond the coast.

If a suitable site is found in Copeland – a process which could take 10-15 years – a decision to develop a GDF in Mid Copeland could not be taken until the community in the electoral wards directly affected has had a say and taken a positive Test of Public Support. The GDF programme requires both a suitable site and a willing community.

The Mid Copeland area now has access to £1million Community Investment Funding per year from the GDF programme as discussions progress around what a facility could mean locally. Projects which have received funding so far include Seascale BMX Pump Track, Beckermet Reading Rooms and Seascale Cricket Club.

For further information on the events, geological disposal and the Mid Copeland GDF Community Partnership go to:

**The Community Engagement Team will also be at the Cumbrian Traders’ Market in St Nicholas’ Gardens, Whitehaven, on May 27.