The search is on for great ideas that will benefit local communities.
The Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership is offering thousands of pounds to turn ideas into reality with the opening of its Sustainable Development and Small Grant Funds for the financial year starting in April 2012.
The Sustainable Development Fund (SDF) and Small Grants Fund (SGF) will make tens of thousands of pounds of money available to community organisations, charities, businesses, parish councils and public bodies in the coming year.
Funding for the SDF has come from Defra. These grants will build on success in previous years that has seen around 200 projects supported through similar funding from the AONB Partnership.
Councillor Eddie Tomlinson, Chairman of the North Pennines AONB Partnership, said: “The Sustainable Development Fund is set to continue making a real and positive impact on the communities, economy and natural beauty of the North Pennines.
“This is a great opportunity to advance sustainable projects in the AONB, to the benefit of current and future generations”.
The AONB Partnership is inviting people to come forward with innovative project ideas. Initiatives that are based within or benefit the North Pennines AONB, which aim to support environmental, social and economic prosperity, could be eligible for funding of over £1,000 from the SDF, or, between £300 and £1,000 from the SGF.
Suitable projects might include sustainable tourism initiatives, including infrastructure or product development; appropriate renewable/green energy schemes; sustainable transport plans; innovative products or enterprises connected to land management; local food programmes; community schemes with an environmental or heritage aspect; nature, landscape or historic environment conservation activities and projects which directly address actions in the 2009-14 AONB Management Plan.
Simon Wilson, Project Development Officer with the North Pennines AONB Partnership who manages the funds, added: “This funding builds on earlier success and provides opportunities to target money and advice to projects which will help to conserve and enhance the North Pennines.”
Applicants for the SDF will initially be asked to fill in a simple ‘Expression of Interest’ form to be returned by January 15, 2012. Pre-application advice is also available from Simon.
Applications will be assessed by a panel, which is drawn from the AONB Partnership. Decisions will be made before the start of the financial year.
For more information please contact Simon Wilson at the AONB Staff Unit on 01388 528801 or email him on firstname.lastname@example.org