Householders to get shale gas handouts

Cuadrilla's drill rig at the Preston New Road site
Cuadrilla's drill rig at the Preston New Road site

Households near a Fylde fracking site are set to get a cash handout from a community fund linked to the drilling.

Shale gas exploration company Cuadrilla has confirmed to local residents near its shale gas exploration site at Preston New Road, near Blackpool, that the £100,000 community benefit payment for the second exploration well will be split between all households within one and a half kilometres of the site.

This decision follows an independent consultation, carried out by MES (Membership Engagement Services) from August 18 to September 15, which sought the views of householders in the Westby with Plumptons Parish on how the funds should be split.

Cuadrilla said that nearly 80 per cent of respondents said the money should be directly paid to households.

Those households within one kilometre of the centre of the Preston New Road site will each receive £2,070 and those within 1-1.5 kilometres will receive around £150.

Francis Egan, CEO of Cuadrilla, said: “Earlier this year we were proud to be the first British onshore shale gas operator to make a payment of £100,000 to an independent Community Benefit Fund following the commencement of drilling exploration wells at our Preston New Road site.

“We are now pleased to make this second payment direct to local householders, after listening to their views, which is another first for the shale gas industry.

“Our shale gas exploration work continues to progress in Lancashire, helping to strengthen the county’s economy with over £4.7m invested in the county since operations began, and now nearly 300 households will directly benefit from our community payments.”