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An electric vehicle charging point at Ninebanks Youth Hostel was part funded by the SDF in 2012
An electric vehicle charging point at Ninebanks Youth Hostel was part funded by the SDF in 2012

Sustainable Development Fund Opens

Call for 'Expressions of Interest' by 15 January 2013

Search for projects

The search is on for great ideas that will benefit the communities of the North Pennines – and the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership is offering funding to turn those ideas into reality.


The AONB Partnership has announced the opening of its Sustainable Development and Small Grant Funds for the financial year starting in April 2013. Potential applicants need to complete ‘Expression of Interest’ forms by Tuesday 15 January 2013.

The Sustainable Development Fund (SDF) and Small Grants Fund (SGF) will make tens of thousands of pounds of funding available to community organisations, charities, businesses, parish councils and public bodies in the coming year. Funding for the SDF has come from Defra. These grants will build on success in previous years that has seen over 200 projects supported through similar funding from the AONB Partnership.

Positive impact

Cllr Eddie Tomlinson, Chairman of the North Pennines AONB Partnership, said: “The Sustainable Development Fund is set to continue making a real and positive impact on the communities, businesses and natural beauty of the North Pennines. This is an excellent opportunity to advance sustainable development in the AONB, to the benefit of current and future generations of local people and visitors”.

Project ideas

The AONB Partnership is inviting people to come forward with innovative project ideas. Initiatives that are based within or benefit the North Pennines AONB, which aim to support environmental, social and economic prosperity could be eligible for funding usually between £1,000 and £7,000 from the SDF, or, £300 and £1,000 from the SGF.

Suitable projects might include: appropriate renewable/green energy schemes; sustainable transport projects; innovative products or initiatives connected to land management; community schemes with an environmental or heritage aspect; nature, landscape or historic environment conservation activities; sustainable tourism projects, including infrastructure or product development; and projects which directly address actions in the AONB Management Plan.


Simon Wilson, Project Development Officer with the North Pennines AONB Partnership who manages the funds, added: “This funding builds on our earlier schemes and provides greater opportunities to target money and advice to projects which will help to implement the North Pennines AONB Management Plan. They are particularly well received by businesses and communities in the current economic climate”.

Expressions of Interest

Applicants for the SDF will initially be asked to fill in a simple ‘Expression of Interest’ form to be returned by 15 January 2013. Pre-application advice will also be offered by a member of the North Pennines AONB Partnership Staff Unit, based in Stanhope. Applications will be assessed by a panel, which is drawn from the AONB Partnership. Decisions will be made before the start of the next financial year.

More information

For more information please contact Simon Wilson at the AONB Staff Unit on 01388 528801 (

Released: 14 December 2012

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