People in Whitby and the surrounding area are being invited to take part in discussions that will shape a potential new funding programme to drive growth in the local economy.
Although the current North York Moors, Coast and Hills (NYMCH) LEADER Programme has now ended, Defra has allocated a £36,000 transition grant to develop a new LEADER Programme that if successful, will take effect from 2015.
Over the next week public consultation events are being held to highlight the needs and opportunities of local residents.
Peter Spencer, NYMCH LEADER Programme executive group chair, said: “The last five years have been both exciting and exhilarating. The bottom-up approach has helped so many organisations across the whole LEADER area to bring groups together, achieve their goals and attract further funding for the benefits of their communities. The new LEADER programme is an exciting prospect with the potential to create many opportunities for our area. To ensure it delivers the maximum impact however, we need input and ideas now so please do let us know your thoughts.”
Mr Spencer explained the new scheme will follow the same blueprint as the previous LEADER programme by taing a “bottom-up, grassroots” approach.
It will invest in individuals as much as projects themselves but will focus more on economic growth than its predecessor. Discussions at the consultation events will gauge interest and opportunities across four broad themes: Agriculture/Forestry/Fisheries, the Natural Environment, Communities, and Local Business/Small and Medium Sized Enterprise.
Consultations will be held at: Loftus Co-op Building, Thursday February 20 from 2pm to 4pm and Burniston Village Hall, Tuesday February 25 from 2pm to 4pm.
To book a place contact Jo Collins on 01439 772700 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Ideas can also be submitted via an online survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NYMCHLEADER
Information and ideas from the consultation events will be used to develop a new LEADER Programme for the area. People will have other opportunities to contribute over the next six months before a final proposal is submitted to Defra later this year.
The previous NYMCH LEADER Programme ran from 2008 to 2013 and covered the North York Moors National Park, the Howardian Hill Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, East Cleveland and the northern part of the Vale of Pickering. It saw £5.3million (including match-funding) invested in projects that supported 172 settlements in the LEADER area. Further information can be found at www.moorscoastandhills.org.uk