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Action plans boost village life

This is an archived press release

Friday 26 January 2007

26 January 2007

Action plans boost village life

Would your village like help with improvements such as restoring an ancient landmark, setting up an internet centre, or launching a local history project?

Or maybe your community needs better services, and could make its voice heard more loudly by joining together with neighbouring villages.

If so, Peak District Community Planning officers Adele Metcalfe and Daniel Yates can help. Over the next two years, they and their colleagues in the Staffordshire Moorlands Community and Voluntary Services will be supporting villages throughout the Peak District to achieve their aspirations for improvements.

The Community Planning Project can:

  • help individual villages draw up programmes for action (Community Plans) and and find support to achieve them
  • hold community forums for villages to get together and discuss group action to achieve common aims
  • provide funding workshops with advisers from national sources such as the Big Lottery or Heritage Lottery funds.

Over the past five years, the project has helped 35 villages to produce Community Plans – drawing up a “wish-list” of improvements, prioritising and getting them under way. Some are small, some large, such as affordable housing to enable young families to stay in the village (Parwich). The officers also help villagers develop the skills and knowledge needed to manage the programme independently in the future.

The project itself has issued £680,000 in grants so far – recent examples include £800 towards Great Hucklow’s “Pub is the Hub” project for an internet centre, and £725 towards re-building a dry-stone wall in Stoney Middleton. And for larger projects, it can also open the door to national pots of money.

Daniel Yates said: “Many communities have successfully launched their Community Plans, and are now ready to take the next step – to tackle some of the bigger, more difficult issues, to think about other sources of funding, and to work more closely with local authorities and service providers.

“Over the next two years we will be helping local groups to achieve these aspirations and build on their success.”

Recent research* in Derbyshire showed that villages with Community Plans had more energetic and effective local groups, improved facilities and more activities and events than before.

To find out more, go to www.peakdistrict.gov.uk , click on Living In, and Community Planning. Or phone the Peak District National Park Authority, 01629 816200, and ask for Daniel Yates or Adele Metcalfe. Or e-mail: daniel.yates@peakdistrict.gov.uk or adele.metcalfe@peakdistrict.gov.uk

  • Peak District Community Planning is part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and managed by the Peak District National Park Authority.  Staffordshire Moorlands Community and Voluntary Services is a partner in the project.

*Source: ‘Planning together? The impact of parish plans and village appraisals in Derbyshire’, Icarus (2006)

This is an archived press release

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