VOLUNTARY organisations and small businesses in the Yorkshire Dales are being invited to apply for cash grants to fund projects which will help local social or business life. Some £180,000 is "in the pot" to back such schemes.
The offer comes from the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority's Sustainable Development Fund (SDF) which is now in its fourth year of operation and has already awarded £610,000 for 65 similar projects.
But that is only the beginning of the story. SDF grants can often be viewed as "seed corn" money to launch bigger projects which can attract larger-scale funding from other bodies. These so far have added more than £2 million to the pot.
Moya Turrell, the authority's Sustainable Development Officer, said: "This is a fantastic chance for local businesses, groups and individuals with a good idea to receive some cash to help get it off the ground. The fund has proved that, with just a small amount of cash, innovative projects can be developed and taken forward in the Dales.
"Particular emphasis is placed on involving young people, encouraging links between people from different backgrounds and projects that test new ideas and promote best practice."
Any organisations, individuals or businesses wanting application forms and further details about SDF funding for 2006/7 from 1 April 2006 should contact Isobel Hall, SDF Project officer, at the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust. The first round deadline for funding is 17 February. She can be contacted by phoning 015242 51002 or by emailing her at email@example.com.