East Devon: Funding stream paralysed by spending cuts

Making It Local suspends approval of grants while Defra reviews spending.

A MAJOR funding stream for small businesses and community groups in two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty has fallen victim to Government spending cuts.

Making It Local, which operates in the Blackdown Hills and East Devon, has temporarily suspended decisions to approve new applications for grants - while Defra reviews and reallocates spending.

Defra is due to take over management of the �2.4 million fund from South West Regional Development Agency in July.

Councillor Paul Diviani, chairman of Making It Local, said: “We cannot approve any new applications at present, but we will still accept and advise on applications so that they can move forward quickly when the money is released in a few months’ time.

“The Making it Local team is also working hard to help projects find alternative funding, so we would encourage people to continue to contact us.”

Making It Local has already committed �1.2 million to the rural economy in East Devon and South Somerset.

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Part of the Rural Development Programme for England, Making It Local has been offering up to �100,000 to projects that make the most of the outstanding landscape, local skills and bring long lasting prosperity and economic benefit to the area.