Supporting project that benefit Exmoor
Support for marketing Exmoor, a Rural Employment Enabler and helping new groups to enjoy visiting the National Park are just a few of the initiatives that have been helped by the Exmoor National Park Partnership Fund over the past 18 months.
The Partnership Fund Annual Report 2011-12 details the financial support of over £600,000 provided to more than 20 bids for schemes whose projected total value is around £10 million bringing significant additional funding to the area.
The Partnership Fund was established in 2011 as part of the National Park Authority’s response to the changing financial climate. Based on the very successful Sustainable Development Fund that operated on Exmoor from 2002-2011 the Partnership Fund provides a more open approach to the allocation of the majority of the Authority’s discretionary budget,
A Discretionary Budget Sub Committee of 5 Authority Members considers applications from communities and external organisations as well as internal bids. Amongst the internal bids approved was an initial £100,000 contribution over 3 years to encourage landscape conservation projects such as hedgelaying, scrub clearance, pond restoration, care of historic features and other such initiatives following the loss of the Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA) funding from government. A further £210,000 allocation towards this has been made recently given the success of the scheme.
Dan James, Exmoor National Park sustainable economy officer says: “The range of schemes that have been supported by the Partnership Fund is really broad. We’ve been amazed at the breadth of projects that have been funded for the benefit of all that live in, visit and love Exmoor. The small grants have been particularly well received. They demonstrate the impact that even a relatively small sum can have to encourage some great community projects. We look forward to receiving more applications for projects contribute to National Park purposes and the priorities identified in the new Exmoor National Park Partnership Plan 2012-17. Priority will be given to those projects that can also demonstrate strong community and or economic benefits.”
Other schemes supported are the Lynton and Lynmouth Neighbourhood Plan following the community’s successful bid to be one of the first areas to pilot the Government’s new neighbourhood planning process. The project is well underway with residents and businesses of Lynton and Lynmouth now being invited to comment on the draft “Lyn Plan”.
Funding of £83,080 towards the Rural Employment Enabler, based at West Somerset Community College, will see a minimum of 108 students over a 3-year period placed with businesses seeking apprenticeships. It is anticipated that these will lead on to provide a minimum of 36 employment opportunities within the National Park in the land-based, tourism, outdoor recreation and low carbon technology sectors.
Amongst the other beneficiaries of the Partnership Fund are butterflies, red deer, a mixed media exhibition, walking festival, community events and St Peter’s church tower at Twitchen. To read the Partnership Fund annual report visit: http://www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/285662/Partnership-Fund-2011-2012.pdf
Published: 23 November 2012
Contact the press office:Clare O-Connor
T: 01398 322244