Young girl and boy sitting at the top of a slide

Over £1 million awarded to local communities

National Grid supports dozens of projects on the Hinkley Connection route

Over £1 million has been awarded by National Grid to 62 community groups and charities in areas impacted by the Hinkley Connection Project construction activity and operations. The funding has helped empower local groups to improve safety, boost wellbeing and bring communities together.

In the villages of Mark, Watchfield and East Huntspill, a £20,000 grant helped Watchfield Village Hall Trust purchase six solar-powered SIDs, supporting the work of Community Speed Watch volunteers. Local police use the information from these sensors in their investigations to hold speeders to account.

With a number of road traffic accidents and fatalities in the area caused by speeding, the sensors will help to enforce the speed limit, making the roads safer for all.

Geoff Francis, Mark Community Speed Watch, commented: “Mark Community Speedwatch has already noticed a drop in the number of speeders recorded in the sessions over the past month. Thank you for your help and support, the project has been very well received and is already bearing fruit.”

Supporting Watchfield Village Hall Trust's efforts to improve road safety in Watchfield and surrounding villages.

The volunteers are hopeful that the installation of the speed indicator devices will deter speeding on local roads.


On the northern section of the route, in the village of Portbury, a £19,762 grant enabled the local parish council to purchase and install a new play area for young children. Located opposite the primary school it features a multi-activity tower, infant play coach and four swings.

Rob Larder says: “Portbury really needed a new play park. We’re relatively isolated here and were the only village locally not to have somewhere for young families to meet and play. Since we installed the new equipment, it’s proved extremely popular and has become a real focal point for the community.”

40 local people rolled up their sleeves and got stuck in to help deliver the project. A multi-activity tower, an infant play coach and four swings were purchased.

Gillian Burnell from our Hinkley Connection Project was joined by Rob Larder, a local father, and Wendy Cowlard, Chair of the Parish Council, to open the park.


Community grant funding from National Grid has supported many other wellbeing projects too, such as making the countryside more accessible in Nailsea and helping at-risk young people in Portishead.

In the Cheddar Valley area funding helped a youth club to continue supporting the mental health of local children and in the village of Mark, funding supported a pre-school with the refurbishment of its outdoor play area, encouraging imaginative play for years to come.

Jonathan Richardson, Corporate Social Responsibility officer for the Hinkley Connection Project, said: “We’re proud to go the extra mile to help make a difference locally, from keeping local roads safe, to helping children access play equipment and youth services. We’ll continue supporting communities impacted by our work to ensure we leave a positive, lasting legacy.”

Community groups can check their eligibility and apply for a Community Grant online.