This is an archived press release
Tuesday 24 May 2005
24 May 2005
Cash in on care for the environment
Many more businesses can cash in on care for the Peak District environment with the expansion of an innovative grant scheme.
Grants of up to £20,000 are available from the New Environmental Economy (NEE) Programme which now covers the Derbyshire Dales and High Peak council areas, the whole Peak District National Park and some Staffordshire Moorlands parishes that border it.
The NEE scheme invests in businesses with new ideas that make the most of their Peak District setting and benefit the environment. Previously centred mainly on the National Park, it now encompasses busy towns such as Glossop, New Mills, Whaley Bridge, Buxton, Matlock, Wirksworth and Ashbourne, extending as far south as Sudbury and Brailsford.
NEE programme manager Catriona McLees said, "The scheme has been set up to assist businesses in developing new ideas centred on using the high quality Peak District environment as a business asset. Our aim is to create sustainable businesses that invest in the environment in some way."
She explained, "There are three main criteria that enterprises must satisfy to qualify for a grant. Firstly, the venture must be for a new product or service, secondly, it must have an environmental benefit to the Peak District and thirdly, it has to show that it will bring an economic benefit to the business and the area."
So far the scheme has supported 56 businesses with grants totalling £325,000. Grant rates vary from 30% - 80% of total costs, depending on the environmental and economic benefits projects bring, along with factors such as collaboration between businesses, use of local resources, educational and social benefits and innovation. A maximum of £20,000 is available for any one business venture.
Recent applicants to benefit from the grants have been mobile food kiosks that sell local produce at refreshment sites, the restoration of a derelict traditional barn into a camping barn, and a business that gives local history talks and tours.
NEE also supports other projects such as Peak District Environmental Quality Mark, Peak District Cuisine and farmers' markets that are looking for more businesses to join in. All of these projects are helping to boost support for local businesses.
The NEE Programme is funded by the European Regional Development Fund together with the Peak District National Park Authority and the Derby & Derbyshire Economic Partnership, which have just confirmed funding for a further three years.
To find out more, contact Catriona McLees, NEE Programme Manager, on 01629 816257 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website www.peakdistrict.org/nee. Catriona will be happy to talk through ideas from an early stage and provide advice on whether they would be eligible for a grant.