More Than £30,000 Awarded To Sustainable Community Projects Helping People To Enjoy and Improve Their Local Environment
Fifteen community projects in Suffolk have been awarded more than £30,000 combined in funding through two Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) grants.
Since 2012, EDF has granted more than £300,000 to community projects through the Amenity and Accessibility Fund. Galloper Wind Farm has granted a further £77,000 to community projects over the past six years through the Galloper Wind Farm Fund.
Amongst the successful projects in the area to be awarded funding is the Waveney Bird Club, working in partnership with the RSPB to build an access path for all physical abilities at RSPB Minsmere, and The Leiston Community Land Trust who will create a community garden and recreational amenity in the heart of Leiston.
For the 2021-22 funding year, the Amenity and Accessibility fund awarded 10 projects a total of more than £20,000. The Galloper Wind Farm Fund awarded five projects a total of more than £11,000.
The Amenity and Accessibility Fund (AAF) aims to improve the environment and natural character of the area by conserving habitats and species and improving sustainable access to the area.
The AAF is being managed by EDF, East Suffolk Council and Suffolk County Council in consultation with Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB who administers the fund.
It was developed because the Dry Fuel Store may delay the return of part of the Sizewell B site to other uses. The site would otherwise have been expected to be restored in keeping with the surrounding AONB designated landscape.
Any individuals, organisations or community groups can apply for funding from the AAF if they can demonstrate their project meets the objectives of the AONB, with additional criteria to has a direct link to improving the accessibility of the AONB or conserving or enhancing the local amenity.
The Galloper Wind Farm Fund (GWFF) aims to contribute to the appearance, setting, conservation, amenity, accessibility, and enjoyment of the Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) specifically within the area defined as a 5km radius of Sizewell, the location of the Galloper substation.
The fund is administered by Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB on behalf of Galloper Wind Farm Ltd and is held by Suffolk County Council. A Panel meets once a year, usually in spring, to assess projects and award grants.
The Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty considers its grants to be a powerful resource for community groups to tap into. These grants are easily accessible for a variety of projects to be able to make a real difference in their local communities.
Robert Gunn, Sizewell B Station Director, said:
“Sizewell B has coexisted peacefully within the AONB for decades and we are delighted that through this fund so many community groups are able to access this specially designated area that covers over 400 square kilometres.
As Panel Members, we often have to make hard decisions about which projects receive the funding that is available. This year we received a wide range of high-quality applications and consider the projects selected to most strongly meet the objectives of protecting and enhancing the Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. “
There is an annual application process for the AONB grant giving schemes. The next grant closing for applications on 17th May 2021 is the Sustainable Development Fund. The next deadline for AAF/GWFF grants will be March 2022.
For details of all grant awards and more information, visit suffolkcoastandheaths.org or dedhamvalestourvalley.org or contact Oka Last, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Grants Officer, on 01394 445225 or AONBgrants@suffolk.gov.uk.