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Drax launches new £30K schools transport fund to support STEM visits to its UK sites

2 July 2024

Drax Group (Drax) has launched a new £30,000 transport fund to help schools to organise visits to Drax’s sites around the UK. 

Rockfield Primary School pupils inside Cruachan Power Station

The new fund supports the work Drax’s charitable entity, Drax Foundation, does to get young people to develop their science technology engineering and maths (STEM) skills.

Drax has allocated £20,000 for educational STEM visits to Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire and a further £10,000 for its Scottish sites, Cruachan and Tongland hydro stations.  

Rockfield Primary School and Rockfield Gaelic Primary Schools, two separate schools which share the same campus in Oban, were among the first schools to use the fund, taking a total of 94 schoolchildren to Cruachan.

During the visit the pupils learned about the construction of the Hollow Mountain power station and the vital role pumped hydro storage sites play in generating renewable power and supporting energy security.  

Providing schools meet the qualifying criteria, including being sited within 15 miles of a Drax power station and having at least 20% of their pupils being on free school meals, they can apply for transport grants of up to £500 online. Drax hopes schools will apply for the funding for the new school year in September.  

Shona King, Drax’s Head of Community, said: “We are delighted to announce the launch of our schools’ transport fund, this will ensure that pupils, including those from less privileged backgrounds, can participate in STEM focused trips to our sites throughout the UK.

“Our visits team plays a key role in educating young people on how we keep the lights on by generating renewable power that is used by millions of homes and businesses.  

“We hope that visits to iconic sites, like Drax Power Station and Cruachan, and learning how they operate can inspire the next generation of engineers. We are actively encouraging applications for the fund and would like to see more schools coming to our power stations in the autumn.”

Elaine Campbell, Depute Head Teacher at Rockfield Primary School and Rockfield Gaelic Primary School, said: “We were so pleased to have our visits to Cruachan Power Station funded by Drax. The children thoroughly enjoyed their trips to the Hollow Mountain and learned so much about the important role the power station plays in generating renewable power when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine. We hope to take more classes of students to the site during the next school year.”