South Downs communities benefit from Sustainable Communities Fund

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Ten very diverse projects across the South Downs National Park will benefit from more than £31,500 funding thanks to the support of the South Downs National Park Authority’s Sustainable Community Fund.

The latest projects to receive support from the fund include: the development of eight walks promoting local businesses, the joint promotion of four visitor sites in Hampshire, a new outdoor seating area for a village community centre and the renovation of a historic pond.

Ken Bodfish, Chair of the South Downs National Park Authority’s Sustainable Communities Fund panel, said:“We are proud to give our support to these latest projects to receive funding from the Sustainable Communities Fund, once again showing great examples of the drive, innovation and community spirit of people living and working across the South Downs National Park.

“Any partnership, voluntary group or organisation undertaking a non-profit making project that socially, economically, environmentally or culturally benefits National Park communities can apply for SDNPA Sustainable Communities Funding.”

Four projects have been awarded large grants of between £2,000 and £10,000.

Funding of £2,718 has been awarded to Octagon Walks project to promote a new 18 mile walk through the countryside of ten villages, including Compton and the Mardens and two stately homes, together with eight further short walks off the main route.

These will be designed to promote local businesses and be accessible by bus and railway at Rowlands Castle.

Funding of up to £3,100 towards promoting the Hampshire Heritage Collection, a partnership project between four visitor sites in Hampshire – Jane Austen’s Museum, Chawton House Library, Gilbert White’s House and the Oates Museum – who are working together to promote tourism in this area of the South Downs.

Funding of up to £7,000 to the Litlington Parish Institute to create an outdoor seating area with level access so that less able community members may use the playground, and rebuild a decaying flint wall.

Funding of up to £8,900 to Buriton Chalk Pits, a designated Local Nature Reserve on the edge of Queen Elizabeth Country Park, to restore a historic pond near the junction of Hangers Way, Shipwrights Way and the South Downs Way, and install a board walk and seating area.

A further six projects have received small grants of up to £2000:

The Dromos Festival – to promote pop-up community art, giving young people the opportunity to develop skills & experience in arts & event management;

The Woodland Flora and Fauna Group – for the digitalisation of data collected on a biodiversity survey of Hurstpierpoint and Sayers Common parish countryside;

The Horndean Biodiversity Action Plan – for the printing and distribution of the Plan;

The supply of sustainable power for the 2013 Arundel Festival;

The Lewes Folk Festival and Goodlife Community Garden Petersfield – to provide a junior school outreach program running traditional song, music and dance workshops.

The Sustainable Communities Fund (SCF) is a £1,000,000 grant fund running from 2011 to 2014. Grants are available for up to 60 per cent of the project cost from £250 to a maximum of £20,000. More information about how to apply to the fund is available at www.southdowns.gov.uk/communities/funding/sustainable-communities-fund.