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Funding Boost For Rural Development Programme

Published: 3rd May 2012 13:59
A programme that helps social and economic development in rural areas through support for innovative projects has received a welcome boost with the announcement of further funding of £254,000. The additional grant is recognition that the LEADER Coast, Wolds, Wetlands & Waterways (CWWW) Programme is well managed and effective.

Funding Boost For Rural Development Programme

A programme that helps social and economic development in rural areas through support for innovative projects has received a welcome boost with the announcement of further funding of £254,000.

The additional grant is recognition that the LEADER Coast, Wolds, Wetlands & Waterways (CWWW) Programme is well managed and effective.

The Programme area covers a large rural part of the East Riding together with parts of Ryedale and Scarborough districts in North Yorkshire. The LEADER programme is being financed by the European Agriculture Fund for Rural Development and Defra as part of the Rural Development Programme for England with East Riding of Yorkshire Council as accountable body.

News of the additional funding was announced at the LEADER CWWW annual general meeting held recently at the Driffield Showground, attended by the Local Action Group, which consists of key people from public, private and voluntary organisations who manage the programme and are committed to carrying out the agreed plan of action (Local Development Strategy) in order to realise the potential of the area's heritage and culture for the benefit of the local communities.

The AGM also saw the launch of some new church trails by the Historic Churches and Rural Communities Project. These trails, which are for churches in and around the northern Wolds, Filey, and Howdenshire, were launched by Dr David Neave, local historian and trustee of the East Yorkshire Historic Churches Trust.

He said: "East Yorkshire has many of the finest historic churches in the north of England, which represent our greatest and most accessible heritage asset. It is vital that their future is ensured by continued support from the communities whose history they enshrine."

Trail leaflets can be viewed and/or downloaded from the East Yorkshire Historic Churches Trust's website by visiting www.eychurches.org.uk

The project is encouraging local people to get involved in helping to look after the fabric of their local churches by organising church maintenance workshops. It is also carrying out an audit of churches of all denominations, looking at their overall role in the local community, in order to produce a ‘state of the nation' report. Churches requiring assistance will be identified, particularly those at risk of redundancy.

Phil Thomas, church buildings officer for the Diocese of York, has welcomed the initiative. He said: "This is an imaginative and necessary project. The challenge of how our rural churches can be developed and sustained in the future in order to service the widest spread of interest groups and activities in their villages is an important issue and one which must be urgently addressed."

Many other funded projects were on display at the AGM and it is because of the success of the CWWW Programme to date that further funding of £254,000 has been awarded. Information about the LEADER Coast, Wolds, Wetlands & Waterways Programme can be found at: www.ruralprogrammeseastyorkshire.co.uk/rdpe

Kath Wilkie, Chair of the LEADER Local Action Group (LAG),said: "The church trails project raises awareness of the heritage of the beautiful church buildings that benefit the localities and their economies.

"The additional funding awarded to the CWWW programme is welcomed by the LAG for the development of further locally supported projects."

For further information, contact Dee Mitchell, LEADER CWWW Local Action Group co-ordinator, on 01377 208412 or 01377 208410.

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