Householders affected by fracking developments could be paid cash directly from a £1 billion fund under proposals unveiled by the UK Government.
Local communities can choose how they spend the money from the new ‘Shale Wealth Fund’, which will provide up to £10 million for each local community.
The fund will amount to up to £1 billion over 25 years and will receive up to 10% of tax revenues from shale exploration.
Those living in the North and the Midlands – where there are significant shale gas reserves – are set to benefit first.
The government suggests the money could be used for projects including improvements to transport links, restoration of local heritage sites and new play parks, community sports facilities and libraries.
The development of a shale gas industry in Britain is expected to create nearly 65,000 new jobs and attract up to £33 billion in investment as well as boost energy security.
The UK currently imports nearly half of its gas from abroad and this is set to rise to three quarters by 2030.
The government says using UK supplies of shale gas will reduce the need for this, making Britain “more self sufficient”.
Andrew Jones MP, Exchequer to the Treasury adds: “Shale production could play an important part in the UK’s future energy security, creating jobs and boosting our economy.
“The economic benefits must be shared with those living alongside these sites and this funding will ensure local people reap the rewards too.”
More details on how communities will receive the money are to be published in due course.
The Scottish Government recently backed proposals to ban fracking in Scotland.