The Department of Energy and Climate change is today announcing a package of benefits for the communities that host any new nuclear power stations.
The new nuclear programme will substantially contribute to the Government’s growth strategy; creating significant numbers of jobs around the UK, bringing investment in the UK’s nuclear and wider construction supply chains, and encouraging growth for local businesses in the surrounding communities.
The community benefit package recognises the role of communities that are being asked to host such large infrastructure projects that will contribute significantly to national energy generation and growth, and the reduction of the UK’s carbon emissions.
The total package will be proportionate to the amount of energy the power station generates, up to a value of £1000/MW per annum for up to forty years. In the case of Hinkley, this could amount to approximately £128m. The package will be delivered in two distinct phases.
In the first phase, authorities will benefit from the business rates retention arrangements which were introduced by the Government in April this year. They will keep a share of the business rates paid in their area, and also keep a share of any increase in business rates (subject to payment of any levy that might be due).
Authorities hosting new nuclear power stations will therefore benefit significantly from the increase in revenues that will arise from the development of those facilities. They will get the reward from these increased revenues for up to ten years.
The second phase is intended to deliver the remainder of the package over the period 2030 – 2060 which will be an annual payment of equivalent amounts, funded by DECC. These funds are specifically intended to benefit the local communities who are hosting new nuclear power stations and the Government fully expects that the Local Authorities will involve their communities in developing their spending plans, with Government also providing assistance and support in its development.
Given the amount of time before this phase of funding will be issued and recognising the differences between communities, DECC will extensively discuss the implementation of this funding with each local area to determine how the needs of the community may best be served.
Business rates are a devolved matter and business rates retention does not apply in Wales. As a result, DECC will work with the Welsh Government to provide a community benefits package equivalent to that delivered in England for the communities surrounding Wylfa power station.