Robin Rigg West Cumbria Fund

Renewable energy and land or property development firms often make charitable investments in the communities where they work. The foundation has a strong track record of working with developers and renewable energy companies such as E.ON to ensure that community benefit funds are invested effectively and with the active involvement of local residents.

The Robin Rigg West Cumbria Fund was set up by E.ON in 2009 to benefit communities close to the Robin Rigg Offshore Wind Farm, along the Solway coast. More than £400,000 has been given out in grants, supporting a range of community groups helping to improve the local environment and also increase understanding of environmental issues.

Friends of Siddick Pond in Workington has received £30,000 from the fund and the money has been used to improve the conservation interest of the site such as reed bed management, installing nesting boxes and planting wildflower bulbs. The site is an important stopping point for birds migrating to the Sahara so it is essential that the reed bed is maintained. The volunteer group is also working with a local school to develop ideas to install a bird hide exhibition.

The fund provides a valuable, long term, sustainable and reliable source of income for the local communities in Allerdale. Tim Morgan, E.ON Plant Manager, said: “The fund from E.ON provides assistance to voluntary or community groups in the area who are looking to use energy more sustainably or improve the environment. Our funding helps to provide a lasting benefit to the area.

Locally, E.ON have also supported the promotion of science and engineering in local schools, for example through sponsorship of the annual REACT Foundation’s school events, have sponsored community awards, and are funding one new technical apprenticeship per year. Tim added, “It’s not just about bringing business and employment to the local area, we are always on the look-out for other ways to give something back to our local community.”