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24th March 2017

NuGen’s Bright Sparks programme “on top of the world”

NuGen’s Bright Sparks education initiative has been awarded the top international award for energy communications at a conference in the Netherlands this week.

NuGen’s Head of Communications, John McNamara, receives the PIME 2017 award for Communications Excellence

Bright Sparks was one of five shortlisted entries from around the world in the PIME 2017 award for Communications Excellence - and emerged on top after ratification from an expert panel of European judges, and a vote from more than 120 delegates from 22 countries attending the annual event.

NuGen’s education programme was up against stiff competition from national entries from the US and Canada in particular, but emerged on top for its “direct focus” on local sustainability, education and legacy.

NuGen launched Bright Sparks in 2015 with just three local schools, Millom, St Benedicts and Whitehaven Academy. This year’s programme, which will feature Lego® leagues and summer schools, has been extended to include more schools in the region close to NuGen’s Moorside Project.

John McNamara, Head of Communications at NuGen, originated the project, but said the honour of winning was shared with local schools, their teachers and pupils.

NuGen’s Head of Communications, John McNamara, receives the PIME 2017 award for Communications Excellence

“This award is international recognition from communications experts, so it has real meaning to our own staff in how we are trying to develop a project with community sustainability and positive legacy at its heart.”

“But we were judged on material which showed our local interactions. So the teachers, pupils and parents of Whitehaven Academy, St Benedicts and Millom, are the real stars of this award.”

The annual PIME (Public Information Materials Exchange) conference is regarded as the leading international conference for nuclear and energy communications. The conference was organised by the European Nuclear Society, and held in the COVRA waste facility.

Other finalists for this year’s communications award included entries by the American Nuclear Society, and the Canadian National regulators, for a campaign aimed at public understanding of radiation.

Hans Codee, Director-General of COVRA, announced Bright Sparks as the winner of the international award.

He said: “It is clear to see the excellent interaction and partnership between NuGen and the local community in this project, which focuses on future opportunities for young people in the area.”

NuGen’s Bright Sparks is an education initiative to supplement to work of local schools in curriculum areas including climate change, social responsibility, energy efficiency and low-carbon energy production. The initiative runs through an academic year, and includes visits, mentoring and tutorials, and an end-of-year schools’ energy conference where pupils compete against each other in energy efficiency challenges, speaking competitions and an energy-related quiz.

NuGen developed the multi-award winning concept with design agency Marick, who have worked with NuGen since its inception, and who also assisted NuGen in developing materials for its public consultations and website.

NuGen’s Bright Sparks also won an award at the UK Chartered Institute of Public Relations awards in November.



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