THE Yorkshire Dales National Park has £125,000 to give away to people or voluntary groups with good ideas for schemes to promote sustainable development.
The fund is being launched at the Dales Countryside Museum in Hawes, when officials will invite interested parties to apply for grants "to support projects and enterprises that promote the protection of the park's environment, make careful use of natural resources, recognise the needs of all people and help to maintain sustainable levels of economic growth."
Steve Macaré, chairman of national park authority, said: "The Sustainable Development Fund will challenge organisations, individuals and businesses to come forward with new ideas for achieving a more sustainable way of living in the countryside. We have £125,000 to award before the end of March and I would encourage anyone with a good idea to make an application today."
The Dales project is a follow-up from a trial scheme already run in Wales which helped create such diverse projects as a wild mushroom growing enterprise; a community project to establish road side verges as nature reserves; and a project to extend farmer's markets, right through to the development of a prototype tidal-power generator.
The fund will be managed by the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust, on the authority's behalf, and anyone wanting further information and an application form should contact the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust on 015242 51002.