One of my roles as an East Riding of Yorkshire Councillor is to be a 'critical friend' to the ERYC Rural Policy and Programmes department. This is something I really enjoy as it is a subject in which I have a real interest, as many who know me can testify.
So I am pleased that a major grant funding has been announced for the Coast, Wolds, Wetlands and Waterways (CWWW) region, which covers a large (880 square miles) rural area of the East Riding and North Yorkshire (but excluding Bridlington, Goole, Beverley and the surrounding rural areas).
The funding has been confirmed by Yorkshire Forward, the Government Office for the region, and is made under the Rural Development Programme for England LEADER programme, a grant funding initiative aimed at assisting rural communities to improve the quality of life and economic prosperity in their local area. The programme is administered by the Regional Development Agency in each of the English regions and, in this region, it is Yorkshire Forward. The East Riding of Yorkshire Council is the accountable body for the CWWW local action group.
Yorkshire Forward has agreed to fund the CWWW’s local development strategy and will shortly be finalising its decision and announce the amount of funding to be awarded.
The key themes of the local development strategy are:
To maximise business opportunities throughout the delivery of the programme that lead to the development of new and exciting local enterprises.
To build capacity and empower rural communities by drawing on the potential of the area’s natural and cultural heritage.
To stimulate growth of the cultural and creative sectors through the development of creative space and capacity.
Building on the potential of the area’s natural heritage opportunities, develop local ownership of and participation in environmental management, planning and interpretation.
To develop facilities and networks of activity that create a focus and enable understanding and connectivity to local heritage and landscape.
These themes will incorporate a range of initiatives to encourage innovation, enterprise and skills building so that community capacity is strengthened for the long term. They all contribute to the overall aim of the CWWW programme which is to utilise the unrealised potential of the area’s heritage and culture to stimulate local vibrancy, encourage enhanced pride in place, and thereby improve the area’s economic performance and social sustainability.
Helen Wright, the ERYC Rural Policy and Programmes Manager said, “The CWWW programme will build on and consolidate existing activity and disseminate best practice to the new area as well as identifying new programmes and projects.
“The LEADER programme is a vital lever in helping regenerate and renew rural communities which do not always attract the high profile and intervention strategies of the UK’s urban areas. Thanks must be given to all those who gave their time and expertise in putting together the Local Development Strategy. ”
I would like to congratulate and thank Helen Wright and her team for all the work that has gone into achiveing this funding. Well done!!