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Dales charity celebrates 1,000th project

[Monday 11 October 2010]

The Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust, one of the most successful - and longest surviving - charities set up to mark the arrival of the 21st Century is celebrating its 1,000th project.

Many grandiose schemes created to mark the Millennium ten years ago went bust or were months or even years late in opening. The notorious Millennium Dome in London lay empty for years and an “earth-world” exhibition near Doncaster, South Yorks, had to close, making its entire staff redundant.

But the YDMT still soldiers on because it chose to hand out relatively small grants to local volunteers for schemes which improved the social life of dozens of small villages and backed scores of environment improvements.

Its annual report just published reveals the trust is delivering more work than ever before to benefit the Dales, including grant-aiding its 1,000th project this year.

In spite of the continuing difficult economic climate the trust has grant-aided 170 projects worth £2 million throughout Yorkshire in 2009-10. This brings the total number of projects supported since 1996 to over 1,000.

YDMT estimate that they have granted more than £20 million to projects throughout the Dales on behalf of other organisations, and this figure does not even account for the charity’s own projects - which are mounting in numbers.

Projects managed by YDMT have helped to restore over 170 hectares of rare hay meadows, plant almost 1 million broadleaf trees and enable hundreds of disabled and disadvantaged people to enjoy activities in the countryside. This is on top of redevelopment work at Settle riverside, countryside management trainee schemes and much more.

The Trust attributes its continued success to its hard working staff and loyal supporters. The charity also receives significant support from partner the People’s Postcode Lottery – which has contributed £147k in unrestricted funding to the Trust to date from sales of tickets.

Says director David Sharrod: “As a charity our main purpose is to support local people and meet the needs of this area – which is possibly more important than ever before in the difficult economic climate. We are immensely grateful to our loyal supporters, with their backing we hope to go to deliver thousands more projects to care for our wonderful Yorkshire Dales.”

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