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Living and working in Dungeness in Kent
By Hannah Ratcliffe
BBC Kent

A house on Dungeness with power station on the horizon
A lot of Dungeness houses are one storey

Dungeness headland is a very empty part of Kent.

There are small villages dotted around the headland. The village of Dungeness is in the Lydd ward of the Shepway District Council area.

At its most southerly tip of the headland, houses are scattered across the wide expanse of shingle.

The two biggest employers in the area are the power station and the Marsh Academy in New Romney, the nearest large town.

As well as the village of Dungeness, there are also the small towns of Lydd-on-Sea, Greatstone-on-Sea and Littlestone-on-Sea on the headland.

Dungeness is part of the Shepway area. The South East England Development Agency identifies Shepway as falling within the Coastal South East, an area of acknowledged underperformance.

Shepway is also among the 30% worst performing local authority areas in England and Wales, in terms of six out of seven key economic performance measures identified by Kent County Council.

Employment

Dungeness B employs approximately 550 full-time British Energy staff, and between 200 and 300 full time contract staff. However, this increases significantly during a three-yearly statutory outage, currently the case for Unit 21 in Dungeness B, when the work force can rise to over a 1000 people.

A significant proportion of the full-time staff live within the immediate area and the majority, if not all, live within at least 40 miles travelling distance of the power station. British Energy estimates Dungeness B puts in around £30m pounds a year into the local community.

mark Richardson
Mark runs Dungeness Fish shop with his wife Marion

Shepway District Council strongly supports the build of a third nuclear power station, with an overall majority of 82.5% in favour. It speculates that a new pressurised water reactor would employ 400 workers directly and indirectly support another 88 local jobs.

Aside from the nuclear power station and the Marsh Academy, there is employment in small and medium sized businesses, most of which are within the agricultural and fishing sectors.

Artists and tourism

Dungeness gallery
Dungeness Gallery displays paintings and photographs of the headland

Dungeness is popular with artists because of its unusual landscape and wide open skies.

Dungeness Gallery displays and sells paintings and photographs of sights around the headland.

Helen Taylor, who runs the gallery with her partner photographer Chris said: "Summer 2009 was very busy with people visiting. They come for the railway, the Victorian lighthouse, Derek Jarman's Prospect Cottage, sea fishing and fish and chips."

Artist Derek Jarman lived on Dungeness for the last years of his life until 1994. He moved there after being diagnosed HIV positive in December 1986.

Dungeness rubber house
The rubber house won a major architecture prize in 2004.

Amongst the small, one storey houses near the tip of the headland, there is one in particular that stands out.

Designed by architect, Simon Conder, it is covered in rubber, which protects the structure from the harsh elements. It uses the same principle as a wetsuit, helping to keep in heat so only one small stove is needed to heat the whole building.




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