Investing in the Community
We recognise the importance of being part of the wider community and have established a community engagement plan that will have positive impacts on our neighbours.
The development of the Rookery South Energy Recovery Facility will bring a range of local community, employment, infrastructure and environmental benefits to the local area. During the planning process, several ways to contribute to the local community were identified.
These include the development of a Community Trust Fund and a dedicated ‘Woodland Creation Fund’ to provide for both on-site and off-site plantings by the Forest of Marston Vale Trust under the forest plan. The Rookery South team has also committed to funding planting to enhance the entrance and amenity value of the Millennium Country Park and to improve views via a scheme agreed with the Marston Vale Trust.
Additionally, the Rookery South project will provide a community energy initiative which is available for local residents living in eight parishes in the Marston Vale area. For households that qualify to participate in the Rookery South Community Energy Initiative (RSCEI), Covanta is able to reduce their electricity bills by , paying a contribution worth 10% of the average electricity bill. This will be administered by the UK charity GrantScape.
Supporting the local economy
Over the three-year construction phase, more than 300 jobs will be created with many opportunities being created for local people. Covanta and Veolia have developed a Local Employment Plan in conjunction with Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire Council that will actively target local employment, local supplies of materials and services, and encourage training of employees. In addition, over 50 permanent jobs will be created when the facility comes online in 2022.
To ensure that the economic benefits of the project are maximised for Bedfordshire’s businesses, communities and workforce over the construction and operational phases, Covanta has joined the Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce to help promote the many employment and supply chain opportunities the Rookery South Facility will require.
The Rookery South Community Energy Initiative
The Rookery South Energy Recovery Facility will bring a range of local community benefits, one of most innovative and a first for a UK energy-from-waste project, is the Rookery South Community Energy Initiative (RSCEI).
Covanta is unable to directly supply electricity to neighbouring properties or households, as electricity generated by the Rookery South Energy Recovery Facility will go straight to the National Grid network. However, Covanta has agreed to provide a contribution to electricity costs of designated households in an area surrounding the Rookery South Pit site.
Through the RSCEI, Covanta will contribute 10% of the electricity costs (calculated by using the average electricity consumption of all UK homes) for domestic properties in the parishes of Brogborough, Wootton, Cranfield, Marston Moretaine, Houghton Conquest, Millbrook, Stewartby and Lidlington.
This will result in an index linked discount for each eligible household’s electricity bills of £60 per annum up to the year 2056. Over 35 years this represents a saving of over £2,000 to every household that qualifies to participate in this innovative scheme.
Covanta has appointed the UK-based charity Grantscape to manage the RSCEI. Grantscape has been selected as it has local knowledge and experience of managing community benefit schemes within the waste and recycling sectors.
- In February 2019, Grantscape will write to all eligible domestic properties in the parishes of Brogborough, Wootton, Cranfield, Marston Moretaine, Houghton Conquest, Millbrook, Stewartby and Lidlington to make householders aware of the RSCEI, providing details on the qualification criteria and how to apply in writing or online.
- Further information about the RSCEI will shortly be available on Grantscape’s website and contact details will be added to this page as soon as possible.
- Once the application and registration phase will start in late February 2019 and local residents will have approximately four months to apply to participate in the RSCEI. The closing date for all registration will be June 28 2019.