Dogger Bank Wind Farm is to pump £25 million into coastal communities across the North and North East of England over its planned 35-year operational lifespan.

This commitment includes funding projects in South Tyneside, Redcar and Cleveland, and East Riding of Yorkshire to enhance STEM education and help young people gain the skills and knowledge required to fulfill their potential in a net zero world.

The South Tyneside STEM education programme has been developed in partnership with education experts at South Tyneside Council and will focus on developing STEM skills of young people. The programme will encourage young people to consider their own careers in STEM from an early age by allowing them to participate in hands-on problem-solving activities.

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It builds on the impact already made in South Tyneside over the last two years through the launch of the award-winning Little Inventors Programme, which has challenged young students to create renewable energy inventions.

The Redcar & Cleveland STEM education programme has been developed in partnership with education experts at Redcar & Cleveland Council and will deliver a continuation of the highly successful Building our Futures primary school STEM careers programme started through the initial funding. This next phase will also reach early years and the transition to secondary, build confidence in teachers to run their own career programmes and increase relationships with local industry.

More than 750 children from 30 schools have already participated in the Building our Futures programme, which is delivered by the Redcar and Cleveland Voluntary Development Agency, and supported by a diverse range of local employers.

Set to be the world’s largest offshore wind farm once complete, Dogger Bank is situated over 130km from the Yorkshire coast and will produce enough renewable energy to supply electricity to six million homes in the UK annually.

The wind farm, a joint venture between SSE Renewables, Equinor, and Vårgrønn, produced first power in October 2023.

The third phase of the wind farm will connect to the national electricity network infrastructure at the Lackenby substation, near Redcar. The renewable energy will come ashore at a landfall point between Redcar and Markse, before being transmitted via underground High Voltage Direct Current cables to a convertor station on the Wilton complex, to the north-east of Lazenby.

Mark Halliday, Dogger Bank Operations Director, said: "Through the operations community fund, we continue to aim to empower and uplift communities by investing in projects that make a lasting impact. We are particularly excited to support the levelling up agenda by working with schools in the North and North East of England, where I personally grew up, by providing opportunities for STEM education.

"By fostering a passion for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, we hope to equip the next generation with the skills they need to be a part of a sustainable future."

Renewable energy learning activity at Hornsea Nursery in East Riding of YorkshireRenewable energy learning activity at Hornsea Nursery in East Riding of Yorkshire (Image: Dogger Bank)

Oliver Cass, Dogger Bank Project Director, said: “It is vitally important that developers work in partnership with local communities in order to sustainably deliver the critical green energy infrastructure that will shape our future.”

John Scott, Head of Inclusive Growth at South Tyneside Council, said: “STEM is a crucial and growing part of the borough’s economy, and it’s vital that we are nurturing a well-qualified, adaptable workforce to unlock the full potential of exciting opportunities like Dogger Bank.

“South Tyneside presents a fantastic opportunity to boost job creation and bolster UK energy security, being at the very heart of the automotive, advanced manufacturing and green economies, driving forward growth both in the region and nationally.”

The new community fund builds on the £1 million investment launched during the construction phase of Dogger Bank, which has already supported more than 36,000 young people across 204 schools, provided 62 university scholarships, and provided 87 grants to local community groups.

In addition to the Dogger Bank community funds, 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. 

Dogger Bank’s community fund will continue to focus over the next three years on the key communities of East Riding of Yorkshire and Redcar & Cleveland where the renewable energy from the wind farm comes ashore, and South Tyneside, which is home to the wind farm’s operation and maintenance base. 

The operational fund will also provide an increased number of 30 scholarships per year across its three key communities, providing funding towards the cost of further education for local university students studying STEM subjects.

  • The fund will also continue to support community projects and local organisations with grants of up to £1,000. Local organisations can now submit their applications through the Dogger Bank website HERE