The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has invited proposals for their Sustainable Development Fund to enable local communities and other organisations to make a difference in AONBs by promoting and achieving sustainable development, partnership, and social inclusion.
The Sustainable Development Fund is available to a variety of local community and conservation organisations (or individuals) to support projects for the conservation and enhancement of the natural beauty of the Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
The AONB manages the Fund and works with local organisations to encourage project development and applications.
These projects focus on integrating the environment, local communities, and the economy so that the unique landscape of the AONB is conserved and its natural beauty enhanced, making it more enjoyable for all.
Purpose of the Fund
The purpose of the Fund is to support the statutory purpose of AONBs:
- To conserve and enhance natural beauty.
- The 1991 Policy Statement on AONBs identifies three related purposes:
- Recreation (‘the demand for recreation should be met insofar as this is consistent with the conservation of natural beauty’)
- Socio-economic (‘account should be taken of the needs of agriculture, forestry, other rural industries, and the economic and social needs of local communities’)
- Sustainable development (‘particular regard should be paid to promoting sustainable forms of social and economic development that in themselves conserve and enhance the environment’)
The AONB is particularly keen to encourage projects that are pertinent to its key priorities. Preference will therefore be given to projects that cover some or all of the following:
- Enhances landscape character
- Education for sustainable development
- Sustainable access and recreation
- Sustainable tourism
- Sustainable transport
- Local product promotion/development
- Enhances biodiversity
- Working with communities at grassroots level to increase awareness of, support for and participation in the care of the AONB
- Reduction in carbon emissions in communities
- They usually have £30,000 in the fund to award each year and can award up to 70% of project costs.
- Organisations who are seeking a gran tup to/in the region of £500 can apply for 100% of the total project costs.
- Demonstration of innovation or best practice
- Promotion of or help implement social inclusion
- Actively involve members of the community
- Provide benefit to the public
- Involvement or encouragement of partnership working
- Complementary to key local and national strategies (e.g. Local Agenda 21)
- Involvement of young people
- Has little or no access to alternative funding sources
- Lever in contributions from other sources
- Provide potential PR for project and the AONB
- Sustainable Development Fund is open to applications from across the Dedham Vale AONB.
For more information, visit https://www.dedhamvalestourvalley.org/managing/grants/sustainable-development-fund/