Businesses which attract visitors to the North Pennines and help boost the local economy in a sustainable way are being offered grants to help finance their ideas.
Walkers enjoying the North Pennines AONB
The North Pennines AONB Partnership is now offering grants of up to £500 for innovative ideas, in particular from businesses involved in sustainable tourism.
This could range from providing drying facilities for walkers or a secure store for cycles at accommodation, to more unusual ideas linked to natural beauty and helping people to enjoy it.
The closing date for applications is Thursday 15 December 2011 and it is intended that decisions will be made by end of December. The grants will be up to a maximum value of £500 each with a minimum of a 50 per cent match from the applicant, to be spent before mid-February 2012.
Simon Wilson, Project Development Officer with the AONB Partnership said: “These grants will help people to extend their offer to visitors to the North Pennines AONB. The tourism industry is a key contributor to the economy of our area and the warmth of the welcome that people receive, alongside high quality attractions, facilities and landscapes will help it to grow. This funding will contribute towards its sustainability.”
Potential applicants for the funding should contact Simon Wilson to discuss grant details and their ideas to determine whether they meet the criteria before completing a simple application form. Applications will be assessed by a small panel at the AONB Partnership. Ideas should be directly linked to the objectives in the AONB Management Plan which can be found at the North Pennines AONB Partnership’s website – go to www.northpennines.org.uk and click on About Us/AONB Management Plan 2009-14.
Annually, the AONB Partnership manages thousands of pounds of funding available to community organisations, charities, businesses, parish councils and public bodies. The aim of the grant money, which comes from Defra, is to allow people who live and work in the AONB to benefit from its high quality landscape in a sustainable way.
For more information please contact Simon Wilson at the AONB Staff Unit on 01388 528801 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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