People looking to make the Yorkshire Dales National Park a better place are being invited to apply for a grant from the Sustainable Development Fund (SDF).
The fund has £175,000 to allocate by the end of April 2022. An annual summary of the fund’s activity last year shows that it split £160,000 among 30 projects.
The 2020/21 grants ranged in size from £917 for fencing around open mine shafts on Grassington Moor (Craven) to £20,000 for hyperfast ‘fibre to the premises’ broadband connections for residents and businesses in Mallerstang (Eden District) and Cotterdale (Richmondshire).
John Peel from Outhgill in Mallerstang said contractors were digging trenches so that cable could be laid by Broadband for the Rural North (B4RN) from the top of the valley at Aisgill Moor Cottages, on the Cumbria-Yorkshire border, to Water Yat at the valley bottom.
“The B4RN broadband will make life wonderful. It will make places like Mallerstang more viable to live and work in. The SDF grant process has been brilliant. There are clear guidelines and the people have been excellent to work with,” he said.
Member Champion for Sustainable Development at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, Carl Lis, said: “The installation of hyperfast broadband in remote communities was one of many great projects the SDF was able to support in the year to April. The work B4RN is doing has become particularly important during the Covid pandemic, as it is improving people’s ability to communicate during times of isolation.”
He added: “In the past year the SDF has also supported business and local produce, for instance by helping The Home Farmer to provide milk in glass bottles in Leyburn. It supported heritage, through projects such as a window restoration at the Hebden Village Institute. It supported wildlife, for example by helping the volunteers at St Mary’s in Kirkby Lonsdale pay for gardening equipment. It supported organisations that cater for visitors, with a grant for work at Dent car park, for instance. And it supported community facilities, such as access improvements at Long Preston Village Hall.
“We have already received five applications for support from this year’s SDF and we look forward to receiving some more. The SDF can help to make projects happen. Please get in touch if you have a project idea or know someone that does. Phone 01969 652337 or email SDF@yorkshiredales.org.uk.”
A set of guidance notes, information about past projects, and an application form can be found at the SDF webpage.