Double Funding Success As South Pennines Leads The Way

Posted: 9.11.08

Improvements to villages, local services, and cultural and heritage projects across the South Pennines will all benefit from a £2.4m package which has just been approved under the LEADER, funded by the European Union and the UK Government.

The green light has been given for Pennine Prospects to embark on an innovative rural development programme covering large parts of the South Pennines, which stretch from Rombald’s Moor in the north to Saddleworth Moor in the south. The programme, based on a partnership of organisations and community representatives, will run for six years until 2013.

Pennine Prospects, formed in 2005 to help regenerate the South Pennines, made the initial bid for a LEADER programme to Yorkshire Forward, the Regional Development Agency responsible for LEADER funding in Yorkshire and Humber, as part of the Rural Development Programme for England. In a unique cross-border initiative, the programme will also cover parts of Oldham and Rochdale districts, with the support of the North West Development Agency.

Andy Tordoff, Assistant Director Environment (Tourism & Rural Renaissance) for Yorkshire Forward said: “I am delighted that the South Pennines LEADER Partnership has been successful in its application for funding as part of the Rural Development Programme for England. The LEADER approach offers an exciting opportunity for the community to develop a range of projects which encourage and support local economic development and compliment the support which is available to rural businesses through the wider Rural Development Programme for England.”

This news follows hot on the heels of last week’s announcement of £2m funding for Pennine Porspects from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the Watershed Landscape project, which will complement the LEADER programme and support community-led heritage projects in the area.

Pam Warhurst, chair of Pennine Prospects and of the new South Pennine Local Action Group, said: “We are delighted that our plans for a LEADER programme in the South Pennines have been approved. The programme promises to bring great benefits to this wonderful area, which is rich both in culture and heritage as well as in innovation and creative community spirit.

“The next six years will be both exciting and challenging as we seek to make the best use of this opportunity for working in partnership across the area. The Leader and Heritage Lottery Fund announcements together represent a milestone in the development of Pennine Prospects as the partnership set up to act as champion for the South Pennines.”

The South Pennines LEADER programme has three main objectives:-

  • the development and promotion of the distinctive cultural heritage and landscape of the South Pennines
  • the promotion and sustainable development of the visitor economy and
  • improvements to the quality of life of rural communities through the provision of better services

The rural development programme will be delivered through a newly-formed South Pennines Local Action Group, which is made up of individuals from the community, public and private sectors, working with a wide range of community partners and projects on the ground. Further events and workshops will be held across the area to publicise the LEADER programme as the group wants to see as many communities engaged in the process as possible.

Click here for more details about the programme’s aims and objectives

Yorkshire Water United Utilities Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council National Farmers Union
South Pennines Association Lancashire County Council Pennine Heritage Kirklees Council Calderdale Council
Bradford District Council Northern Rail Natural England Environment Agency The National Trust