This is an archived press release
Thursday 12 May 2005
12 May 2005
£500,000 boost for Peak villages
Villages across the Peak District have been boosted by more than £500,000 of grants to help improve their communities.
Since 2002, the Peak District Community Planning Scheme has been pumping cash into village coffers, enabling villagers to restore ancient sites, install new amenities, enhance the environment or improve communal facilities.
Project ideas come directly from the communities themselves - among recent ones
* Bamford - £6,500 for its Community Arts and Crafts Group to buy modular stage equipment, enabling a wide range of exhibitions and events in local venues.
* Warslow - £1,000 to install traditional paving at its historic Boys Brigade Centre in the heart of the village, making it more accessible to a wider range of local and visiting groups.
* Sheen - £1,000 to install new gates at the front of the Village Hall in keeping with its Listed Building status and in sympathy with the wider restoration of the ancient village cross.
* Edale - £1,200 to restore the village clock to full working order.
The scheme, supported by the European Regional Development Fund, is managed by the Peak District National Park Authority, which has so far provided £100,000 to help fund the grants. Rural Regeneration North East Staffordshire is also a partner, as was the Derbyshire Rural Community Council.
To come up with ideas, and show support from local residents, villagers are helped to organise consultation events such as 'wish days', public meetings and questionnaires. Aims and priorities are then pulled together in a village management plan, and - working with National Park Authority Village Officers, Dan Yates and Adele Metcalfe - villages can then apply for grants to achieve these aims.
Even if they do not qualify for Community Planning funding, other sources are possible.
Several villages are currently starting the process of producing a plan, including Eyam which recently held a successful Open Day jointly with local village societies and Peak District Community Planning.
Other communities with established plans are now reviewing their progress and moving on to address new priorities for action. Parwich, for instance, near Ashbourne, successfully launched an award-winning affordable housing scheme as one of its first priorities, and is now taking a closer look at environmental and heritage issues.
Village officer Dan Yates said: "These are aspirations which will further advance the protection of the National Park and the understanding of it within the community.
"This scheme provides a genuine two-way dialogue between the local community and the National Park Authority, which has already demonstrated significant success in enhancing the environment of Peak District villages for local residents and visitors alike."
The scheme has further funding to distribute over the next 18 months to eligible communities.
For more information, contact Dan Yates on 01629-816258 or Adele Metcalfe on 01629-816375.