Dogger Bank unveils £1m children's STEM education fund16 Jun 2021
Young people from coastal communities in the UK are set to share in a £1 million investment from Dogger Bank Wind Farm to prepare them for working life in a net zero world.
In a programme being developed in partnership with local authorities in the North and North East of England, a total of £1 million has been allocated during the construction of the wind farm, to put science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) at the heart of children’s education, helping them prepare for jobs that will be vital to the green economic recovery of the UK. Additional community funding will be allocated throughout the operational phase of the windfarm.
This construction fund will initially focus on the areas of East Riding of Yorkshire, where the windfarm will connect to the National Grid, and South Tyneside, where the Operation and Maintenance Base will be located.
The programme has been developed with local skills and education stakeholders to ensure it meets local priorities with a focus on early years in East Riding of Yorkshire, and primary to secondary school transition in South Tyneside.
All 124 primary schools in East Riding of Yorkshire and all 18 secondary schools in South Tyneside will have the chance to increase and expand their current science, technology, engineering and maths provision.
Both areas will also look to use the support to enhance their career advice services for school leavers.
Plans are still being drawn up for how the programme will support youngsters in the Redcar and Cleveland area, where the third phase of the wind farm will connect to the National Grid at Lackenby. These will be confirmed when the third phase, Dogger Bank C, reaches its final investment decision later this year.
In addition to enhancing STEM provision in the classroom, during the construction of the wind farm 50 students from these areas will receive a scholarship to help with the cost of further education qualifications while studying STEM subjects.
The £1 million investment also includes an Operators Fund to support other local causes to the value of up to £500. Community projects and local organisations will be able to apply at www.doggerbank.com/about/community/
The Dogger Bank Wind Farm STEM investment is one of the largest commitments to skills ever made by the offshore wind sector.
In addition to this STEM fund, Dogger Bank Wind Farm will invest £13.5 million in the Offshore Wind Growth Partnership during its lifetime, a programme set up to support the growth of the UK offshore wind supply chain. Furthermore, 50% of the wind farm’s rental payments to the Crown Estate will support the Coastal Communities Fund, a UK Government-funded initiative to support the economic growth of coastal areas. Under the current arrangement the funds received by the Coastal Communities Fund will equate to 1% of the wind farm’s gross revenue, which could amount to tens of millions of pounds being invested in coastal communities during the operation of Dogger Bank Wind Farm.
Apprenticeships and Skills Minister, Gillian Keegan, said:
“As we recover from the pandemic, we’re investing billions of pounds to help the UK become a global leader in green technologies. This includes the creation of up to 250,000 jobs by 2030 through our Ten Point Plan, which will be critical in delivering a green industrial revolution. It’s fantastic to see the developers of Dogger Bank Wind Farm supporting this by investing in science, technology, engineering and maths skills. Not only is the world’s largest offshore wind farm pioneering new technology, it is also innovating in the way it’s supporting coastal communities to ensure young people are equipped to access the green jobs of the future.
MP for South Shields, Emma Lewell-Buck, said:
“This is such an exciting opportunity for our young people to learn and enhance STEM skills that will equip them and put them at the forefront of skilled jobs in the green economy. I want to thank the Dogger Bank Wind Farm project’s continued investment and commitment to our community, wider region and people.”
Beverley and Holderness MP, Graham Stuart, said:
“This investment from Dogger Bank Wind Farm is really welcome news, and it’s great that it will benefit children across the East Riding and in my constituency of Beverley & Holderness.
“Building up our domestic offshore wind capacity is bringing multiple benefits – from helping us meet our renewable energy commitments, to bringing skilled jobs to the area, to investing in our children’s education.
“I look forward to supporting Dogger Bank into the future as they generate tens of millions of pounds worth of investment into our area.”
Steve Wilson, Project Director for Dogger Bank Wind Farm, said:
“We are proud that alongside the jobs and supply chain investments we’ve already attracted to these local economies, we can also help make a real difference to the lives of people in our local communities with this innovative package of support.
“We estimate more than 25,000 young people from 142 schools in the north and north-east of England will benefit from this funding, as we open their eyes to the green industry opportunities of our net zero future.
“Renewable energy will increasingly become a source of skilled jobs in the UK as we come through the pandemic, and rebuild our economy. This is one of the most significant investments the offshore wind industry has made in future skills, and could be the key to unlocking the future potential of many young people, as we put STEM skills at the very heart of their learning.”
Dogger Bank Wind Farm will be located more than 130 km off the Yorkshire coast and will generate enough renewable energy to power six million UK homes. A joint venture between SSE Renewables, Equinor and Eni, SSE Renewables is leading on Dogger Bank construction and delivery while Equinor will operate the wind farm for its lifetime, from a new base to be constructed at Port of Tyne.
Work is already underway on the first two phases of the development in East Riding to prepare the 30km cable route from Ulrome to Creyke Beck Substation, near Beverley.