Working to protect the local area
The construction and ongoing presence of the Cleve Hill Substation has an impact on the local community and environment. We’re committed to working closely with local people and continually monitor the area’s ecology to make sure we identify and minimise the project’s effects on the local area.
Before we started building at Cleve Hill, we undertook detailed environmental surveys to assess and understand London Array’s potential impacts on a range of key areas. The surveys looked at everything from the local archaeology, ecology and geotechnical investigations, to UXO assessments to check for unexploded World War II munitions.
As well as running a number of conservation schemes at the Cleve Hill site, we’ve established a £200,000 fund for nature conservation to be implemented by Kent Wildlife Trust.
Construction on the substation brought a range of supply chain opportunities to the Kent area ranging from construction and transport through to business support services such as catering and accommodation. As of December 2012 London Array has used over 120 Kent companies and organisation eqauting to contract values of over £20m. We’ve also worked with Kent County Council and Locate in Kent on the development of the Kent Wind Energy business directory – it’s free for companies to sign up and puts local suppliers in touch with offshore wind farm developers and contractors. Got to www.kentwindenergy.co.uk for more information and to sign up.
We’re keen to give something back to the Graveney and Goodnestone community and in May 2010, established a £300,000 community fund. This is managed by the Graveney and Goodnestone Trust and accepts applications from local people and organisations for projects that will benefit the parish and its residents in any of these areas:
- Community safety
- Crime reduction
- Economic development
The next generation
In partnership with Kent County Council, we’ve launched a bursary scheme to help local students go to university. London Array will help pay for three years of university tuition fees for one student a year for 10 years, giving priority to those who want to study a course related to science, engineering or sustainable development. Through our newsletter and website, we’ll keep local residents updated with information about the successful students and their academic progress.
The first London Array University Bursary, for the academic year 2010/2011, was awarded to Benjamin Wigmore from Graveney. Benjamin attended Barton Court Grammar School in Canterbury and is now studying Mechanical Engineering at Southampton University. Thomas Gray from Rodmersham was awarded the 2011/12 bursary. Thomas attended Borden Grammar School in Sittingbourne and has taken up a place at Surrey University to study Electronic Engineering.
Applications for the 2013/14 academic year have now closed.
The Cleve Hill area has a rich cultural heritage, with a number of historic structures and listed buildings. Where possible these have been left untouched, but in order to build the onshore substation, we had to demolish two World War II structures – a pill box and a Royal Navy ‘Starfish’ decoy Operation Post. These were demolished in agreement with Kent Heritage, an organisation which we’re supporting through a new fund for local heritage projects.
Graveney Primary School has already received a new car park, safety warning lights and a new crossing and steps to its recreation ground as part of our Traffic Management Plan. We’re also making an annual, index-linked donation of £2,000 to three schools in the area: Graveney Primary and Abbey School and Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in Faversham. The monies will be used to fund extra-curricular activities related to sustainable development.