aonb Communities

Rory is actively encouraging businesses which attract visitors to the North Pennines and help boost the local economy in a sustainable way to take advantage of grants being offered by the North Pennines AONB Partnership to help finance their ideas. Businesses involved in sustainable tourism are particularly encouraged to apply, working on projects that might range from providing drying facilities to walkers, or a secure store for cycles at accommodation, to more unusual ideas linked to natural beauty and helping people to enjoy it.

Rory said: “AONB North Pennines’ grants are a great boost to help local thinkers get their innovative ideas off the ground, contributing to the already impressive number of small businesses operating in the area. These are businesses which form the foundation of our tourism sector, which itself underpins the economy of our corner of north Cumbria. This is a fund from DEFRA which aims to enable people to live sustainably in their communities, and to ensure that our landscape continues to be protected by businesses that are manageable and proportionate to our area. All individuals, community groups, parish councils, charities and businesses in the area are strongly encouraged to find out more about the fund by visiting or emailing [email protected] before December 15th 2011.”

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.

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