Peak District environmental grant scheme safe for next three years

This is an archived press release

Wednesday 6 October 2004

6 October 2004

Peak District environmental grant scheme safe for next three years

The Peak District National Park Authority has welcomed Government confirmation that a grant scheme - which has supported dozens of environmentally-friendly projects - is to be extended for a further three years.

Since its inception in 2002 nearly 80 projects inside and outside the Peak District National Park have won support from the Sustainable Development Fund. By the end of next year, nearly £2 million in grants will have been allocated in this area.

Recently-approved schemes include:
* recycling waste cooking oil to heat water at Castleton Youth Hostel
* rainwater harvesting for use in toilets at the Friends Meeting House in Bakewell
* 'Where steel meets stone' - a project to teach young people in a former steel-producing area of Sheffield about countryside issues

The fund, set up by rural affairs minister Alun Michael, aims to promote environmentally-sound principles among individuals, community groups and businesses. It operates within seven national parks and the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads.

Peak District Sustainable Development officer Richard Godley encourages people to come up with new ideas to enhance both the environment and the economy, to work together on sustainable community projects and to foster links between urban and countryside areas.

He also encourages the involvement of young people, the disabled, and groups traditionally less likely to benefit from the parks. Young people are even involved in assessing grant applications, as students from Hope Valley College have recently been appointed to the Sustainable Development Fund panel.

Once a project is approved by the panel, this opens the door to funding from other organisations - for instance, an educational wildlife garden project in Bradford Dale will get a £12,500 SDF grant, plus £4,300 from elsewhere.

The Fund recently won a glowing report from the independent Centre for European Protected Areas Research at the University of London.

The Peak District's Sustainable Development Fund chair Anne Ashe said: "We are delighted that the fund is being supported for a further three years. It shows commitment to a sustainable future for the Peak District National Park and its neighbouring areas, building on its environmental and cultural heritage with innovative ideas.

"There are some really exciting ideas coming through, and though it's only been running for two years, we can already see the way the fund enables people to benefit not only the environment but the local economy and the community."

This is an archived press release

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