Funding bid to improve economy

PUBLISHED: 13:55 15 April 2008 | UPDATED: 21:42 15 June 2010

PROJECT ideas are being sought to support a bid for new government funding to help improve the economy and rural life across East Devon and in the Blackdown Hills.

PROJECT ideas are being sought to support a bid for new government funding - to help improve the economy and rural life across East Devon and in the Blackdown Hills.Supporters of the two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty are to submit a joint bid for Local Action cash.If successful, the scheme will fund project ideas for local business development and improving access to services across the Blackdown Hills and East Devon, particularly for local products such as food, fishing, crafts, forestry and renewable energies.Local Action could build on the success of the previous EU-funded LEADER+ programme, which supported a range of successful activities and projects in the Blackdown Hills."We came to the conclusion in the Hills that if we were to conserve and enhance our magnificent environment we had to do that through the social and economic well-being of the people who live and work here," said Paul Diviani, chairman of the Blackdown Hills AONB Partnership. "Having run a successful LEADER+ programme in the Hills, we have now joined forces with East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in a joint bid for Local Action funding for the next six years. "Together we can bring the advantages of collaboration to a much larger area and tackle issues that affect us all."As part of a public consultation in preparing the bid, the partnership, made up of businesses, local councils and members of the community, is talking to businesses and groups in both the Blackdown Hills and East Devon areas. "We want groups and businesses to come forward with their good ideas for projects they themselves want us to work on," said Mr Diviani. "The consultations will go on all through April and early May. Get in touch with us on (01823) 680626 to discuss your ideas. You can also tell us about your project ideas online in a projects questionnaire, which will take just 10 minutes to complete."Go to http://tinyurl.com/638guy

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