15/05/2012 - Natural England Opens £2 Million Paths for Communities Scheme
The Paths for Communities scheme has been established to develop and enhance the network of Public Rights of Way (PROW) in England in order to deliver benefits to rural areas.
The aim of the scheme is to:
- encourage and enable local communities to work with land owners to develop and enhance local public paths in ways that deliver wider benefit; and
- offer a network with more appeal to visitors and tourists, contributing to the rural economy through better support for local services such as shops, pubs, hotels, bed and breakfasts, equestrian and cycle businesses.
Natural England anticipates funding of £1 million in both the 2012/13 and 2013/14 financial years. £500,000 will be available in 2012 and £1.5 million in 2013. There will be a wide distribution of awards ranging from £5,000 up to a maximum of £150,000. Grants will normally be limited to 75% of actual costs, with encouragement to seek match funding. However, the scheme may fund up to 100% of actual costs.
A range of practical solutions may be funded; such as:
- Surfacing (as this is a predominantly rural scheme the presumption is that hard surfacing will be minimal).
- Pedestrian and mobility access gates.
- Bridle and horse access gates (including those with hydraulic closing mechanisms).
- Kissing gates/field gates.
- Horse stiles and heavy-duty horse friendly vehicle barriers.
- Timber signposts and waymarkers.
- Development of Action Plans for more complex schemes.
- Expenses of staff consultants essential to the development of a project.
The scheme is open to applications from partnerships between local community organisations and landowners/managers in England. Eligible businesses include shops, pubs, hotels, bed and breakfasts, equestrian suppliers and cycle companies.
This is a rolling programme accepting applications at any time.
Click here for more information (opens in new window).
Source: Natural England, 14/05/2012
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