This is an archived press release
Monday 23 February 2004
23 February 2004
NATIONAL PARK AUTHORITY'S BOOST FOR PEAK DISTRICT ECONOMY
A Peak District grant scheme that boosts the local economy by setting up new enterprises and helping existing business diversify has created and safeguarded hundreds of local jobs since it was launched.
The New Environmental Economy Programme (NEE), which is coordinated by the Peak District National Park Authority, has just marked its second anniversary - and the latest statistics show that it has helped create and safeguard more than 200 jobs.
In just two years the programme, the first of its kind in the UK, has awarded £270,000 to help set up 15 new enterprises. It has assisted a further 12 to diversify into new areas of business. Grants have been awarded to enterprises ranging from a food hamper business to an acupuncture clinic, greenhouse designer and digital photography business.
The good news coincides with the 27th grant award – just over £6,000 to the Peak District Farm Holidays Group towards the production of a Peak District Touring Map. It will feature arts and crafts businesses that are committed to high environmental standards and that take their inspiration from the Peak District.
NEE is aimed at environmentally responsible rural businesses that want to make the most of their biggest asset – the internationally renowned landscape of the Peak District. It helps the businesses harness the area's unique resources to give their products and services a distinctive local flavour, whilst safeguarding the very thing that makes the area so special, the environment.
NEE Programme Manager Hayley O'Neill said: "We can help businesses develop new products and services based on good environmental practice that makes the most of the Peak District environment. The project has been so successful that similar schemes are springing up around the country, and we are even working with partners in Scandinavia to develop the programme for other areas of Europe."
Grant applicants must satisfy three main criteria – the venture must be for a new product or service, it must have an environmental benefit and it has to bring an economic benefit to the business and the area. The scheme operates in towns and villages throughout the National Park and the wider Peak District.
Grant rates vary from 30 to 80% of total costs, depending on the environmental and economic benefits, along with factors such as collaboration between businesses, use of local resources, educational and social benefits and innovation. There is a maximum of £20,000 available for any one business venture.
· NEE continues until 2008 and a further £430,000 is available – to find out more contact the programme manager Hayley O'Neill on 01629 816257 or visit www.peakdistrict.org/nee