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Panel members needed to help make the future brighter

This is an archived press release

Wednesday 30 November 2005

30 November 2005

Panel members needed to help make the future brighter

New panel members are needed to help allocate cash in a remarkable grant scheme that boosts life-enhancing enterprises across the wider Peak District.

The Delph Donkey is just one of the amenities trotting along more briskly thanks to a £3,000 grant approved by the panel of the Peak District Sustainable Development Fund.

The Delph Donkey - a 2km walking, cycling and riding trail along an old railway branch line in Saddleworth - was granted the money to help enrich people's understanding of its industrial history and wildlife habitats. Replica railway boards will provide information along the old line (managed by the Oldham Countryside Service) which was named after a horse-drawn engine reputedly used in Victorian times.

Transport for rural areas will be improved thanks to another £6,000 Sustainable Development Fund grant to help develop village hubs - places where community facilities are provided and people can access buses, taxis, car shares, a car club, bike hire, local travel information and tickets. The South Pennine Integrated Transport Project hopes to pursue this idea initially in the Hope Valley.

Fifty poetry benches, carved with verses written by members of the public, are now being installed across the Peak District National Park with the help of a £4,900 SDF grant, commemorating 50 years of the Ranger Service.

These are just a few of the 100-plus projects that have received more than £1.6m through the Defra-funded Peak District Sustainable Development Fund and linked schemes since its inception in 2002 - and now it is asking for your help.

You could become one of eight voluntary panel members who assess applications for grants, which support not only community projects but private enterprises too - anything that will improve the area's quality of life in an innovative, sustainable way.

SDF supports:
* renewable energy schemes such as water turbines and biomass boilers
* recycling schemes such as using old cooking oil to heat a youth hostel
* community schemes including car sharing to help the elderly
* young people's training and activity schemes
* promotion of understanding of the environment
* new links between urban and rural areas.

SDF panel chair Anne Ashe said: "SDF work is rewarding because you know that it improves the prospects of a sustainable future for ourselves, our children and grandchildren. It's also a way of giving something back to the community.

"We meet every three months to assess applications from across the wider Peak District. Our panel members could have a background in community groups or the environment, local or regional organisations, business, agriculture, tourism or recreation. We also have two young people on the panel who are students at a local high school."

To find out more about grants or about joining the panel, contact the Sustainable Development Fund office at the Peak District National Park Authority, Aldern House, Baslow Rd, Bakewell, DE45 1AE, phone 01629 816312, or email: sdf@peakdistrict.gov.uk . Applications need to be in by December 31 2005.

This is an archived press release

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