2023 is the best yet for Ørsted’s Walney Extension Community Fund

2023 is the best yet for Ørsted’s Walney Extension Community Fund

  • Ørsted fund awards almost £700,000 in 2023
  • Fund has now awarded £4.5million to community and STEM projects in Cumbria and Lancashire
  • A total of 248 projects have now been awarded funding

The latest round of funding awards sees Ørsted’s Walney Extension Community Fund reach new heights as the total awarded in a single year hits a huge £692,918, the most it has ever awarded in a year.

248 individual projects in coastal communities in Cumbria and Lancashire have shared a massive £4,501,046 through the main Walney Extension Community Fund and it’s dedicated Skills Fund over the last seven years.

Fifteen organisations have been awarded funding in the latest round of funding sharing over £303,000. They join four groups who shared over £135,000 through the Skills Fund in June and eighteen groups who received over £253,000 in March.

One group who are celebrating being awarded a grant are Morecambe Parish Church who recently opened a community outreach hub to provide a warm space where the community can connect, access support, and learn new skills. The hub, known as ‘The Sanctuary’, is also home to a food pantry which serves over 300 families and provides practical support to the community with managing a household.

On hearing they had been awarded £5,000 to help staff and stock The Sanctuary, Rev Chris Krawiec, Rector of Morecambe Parish Church, said: “We greatly appreciate your donation towards the work of our community outreach centre, The Sanctuary. Your help will enable us to reach the people of Morecambe and support them emotionally and physically with the struggles of life. The building has now been open for almost 5 months and users often comment that we are indeed a sanctuary from modern life, providing them a chance to rest and restore as well as providing essential services in their time of need. Your kind donation will ensure the continued operation and development of this project.”

Also celebrating is Lancashire Wildlife Trust who has secured £22,500 for their ‘Nature, Wellbeing & Engagement Programme’. Funding will enable the Nature & Wellbeing Officer to run sessions over one year for groups of people across Wyre who are experiencing poor wellbeing or social isolation.

Rhoda Wilkinson, Nature & Wellbeing Manager at Lancashire Wildlife Trust, said: “It has been an incredibly challenging few years for both our communities and nature. Support from the Walney Extension Community Fund will support Lancashire Wildlife Trust to run groups across Wyre that help to find a solution for people and nature. Creating more opportunities to bring people together, and have really positive fun experiences whilst also being part of protecting the amazing wildlife of Wyre.”

The full list of organisations awarded grants from the latest round of funding are as follows:

  • Stanleys Community Centre, Morecambe – £40,000
  • Carnforth Community Swimming Pool – £45,000
  • Suicide Bereavement Support, Cumbria – £2,200
  • MusicLinks, Music workshops in Barrow – £4,210
  • Women’s Community Matters, Barrow – £20,416
  • Home-Start Morecambe & Lancaster – £18,341
  • Emmanuel Church, Lancaster – £30,000
  • PCC Holy Trinity with St Laurence (Morecambe Parish Church) – £5,000
  • DWS Lifeskills CIC, Wyre Armed Forces Veterans Health & Wellbeing – £16,000
  • Carer Support South Lakes – £15,000
  • Mind in Furness Ltd, Ecotherapy Programme – £30,499
  • Bay Search & Rescue, New Building at Flookburgh, Cumbria – £30,000
  • RAIS Lancaster, Asylum Seeker and Refugee Services – £19,600
  • Lancashire Wildlife Trust, Wellbeing & Engagement Programme – £22,500
  • WIDE, Employment Skills in Lancaster – £5,000

Imran Nawaz, Senior Advisor & Community Benefit Fund Manager for Ørsted, said: “What a year! We are so proud to be funding more worthy causes than ever. With the cost-of-living crisis, and climate crisis, these fantastic groups and projects are vital to help our community and planet. Well done to all those who have been awarded funding. We urge more groups to get in touch for the next round of funding.”

The fund is made possible by Ørsted, the global leader in offshore wind, which has constructed one of the world’s largest operational offshore wind farms, Walney Extension, off the Walney Island coast in Cumbria. Each year, approximately £600,000 will be made available for community projects for the expected 25-year lifetime of the wind farm.

The next closing date for applications is 10 January 2024.

For full details about the Fund and how to apply, please click here

Photo/s: Lancashire Wildlife Trust – Wellbeing & Engagement Programme