Five-year grant scheme benefits dozens of community projects in Durham Dales (From The Advertiser Series)
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Five-year grant scheme benefits dozens of community projects in Durham Dales
A FIVE-year grant scheme which has helped dozens of projects across Teesdale and Weardale has come to a close.
The North Pennine Dales Leader fund has distributed £2.2m of European money to support 88 activities, all of which aim to improve life in rural areas by promoting sustainability, tourism and economic growth.
Project co-ordinator Sue Ellwood said a further £1.5m had been brought to the dales in match funding.
Leader funding has been used to support everything from training at Barnard Castle-based Radio Teesdale to a biomass project in Barningham.
There has been targeted business support in Stanhope and Middleton-in-Teesdale through a shop improvement scheme and a Working for the Future pilot scheme in Frosterley.
The last project to receive Leader funding was Save a Life, working with the Teesdale Village Halls Consortium to provide defibrillators at ten community buildings.
And, with all the money now distributed, the work of the Leader fund will be reviewed during a celebration event at Mickleton Village Hall, Mickleton, near Barnard Castle on Tuesday, September 10, starting at 4.30pm.
Mrs Ellwood said another round of funding would be forthcoming, possibly starting in 2015.
“We have been lobbying the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and they have put a budget together for a transition year.
“We had to submit an expression of interest to say what we would use the money for in that year and if we are successful we would use it to build a strategy.
“It is important to speak to smaller community groups and really get an understanding of what the issues are at a grass roots level and build that into a strategy.”
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