The first phase of a major business development package for the Settle & Three Peaks area was launched today at a meeting at Settle High School in rural North Yorkshire attended by The Rt Hon Alun Michael MP, Minister for Rural Affairs. The School is a centre for excellence in the teaching of sustainable development and environmental issues.
The Minister was visiting the School to announce a £1 million 'Sustainable Development Fund' for English National Parks and the Broads. The Fund will grant aid new business initiatives and community development projects in keeping with the special environment of each area.
'It is really good to meet with the Minister in these very positive circumstances. It is a great start for the new business initiative and shows that the enthusiasm of the local traders over the past two years has paid off' said Tony Price, Chairman of Settle & District Chamber of Trade who last met with Alun Michael during the Foot and Mouth epidemic.
The business development package is being overseen by the Settle & District Chamber of Trade and the initial phase will see the creation of a strategic action plan for the economic development of the area, with a particular focus on the introduction of new businesses.
Steve Finch, Business Development Officer for the Chamber said: 'We are really excited that the Minister has chosen to launch this new initiative in Settle. It is really complimentary with the work currently underway in reviving the rural economy of the District in a sustainable manner.'
Following the formal tender process, the Chamber has appointed Erskine Corporation Limited and their partners John Christopher Associated Limited to deliver the project which will proceed as soon as the funding package from Yorkshire Forward has been approved. Yorkshire Forward, the Regional Development Agency for Yorkshire and Humber are 100% behind the Chamber and its plans for the future of this important rural area.