South Downs National Park community funding
New walking routes for families and people with disabilities, cycle hubs, play facilities, and a refurbished pavilion are among the projects to benefit from a major funding boost from the South Downs National Park Authority.
More than £1.37m will benefit almost 30 community schemes across Hampshire, West Sussex and East Sussex.
The investment comes from the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), which is administered by the Authority and paid by developers to support new local infrastructure.
As well as the £1.37m, 22 parish/town councils across the South Downs National Park will be taking a share of just over £256,000 to support grassroots projects in their area.
Projects to be funded
- A mix of initiatives to help better connect urban areas to the countryside, including new Miles Without Stiles routes in Hampshire. Over 130 miles of stile-free routes will be created around Winchester and from Hambledon to Rowlands Castle.
- In West Sussex, funding will help to create the first phase of a shared-use traffic-free path connecting the south of Midhurst to the town centre.
- In East Sussex, a cash injection will help pay for Phase 6 of Egrets Way, connecting Rise Farm to Rodmell in the beautiful Ouse Valley.
- On the East Sussex coast, funding will improve facilities for chaplains, coastguards and the police at Beachy Head chaplaincy. Buzz Active, in the Cuckmere Valley, will be receiving funding to improve access for paddle sport enthusiasts.
- The people of Fernhurst will also benefit from a modernised and expanded sports pavilion, while new play equipment will be installed at Lavant and Liss.
- Funding will also go towards expanding facilities and services at the Sustainability Centre, near Clanfield, while nearby at Queen Elizabeth Country Park, a new cycle hub is being created with new trails for children and adults, bike repair facilities and battery charging.
Director of Planning on the funded projects
Tim Slaney, Director of Planning at the South Downs National Park Authority, said: “As 2021 draws to a close, we’re delighted to announce this significant funding of over £1.5m to help local communities across the region.
“Having access to green spaces has never been more important and a large proportion of this funding will help people walk or cycle right into the heart of some of the South East’s most beautiful countryside.
“It’s wonderful to see such a varied range of projects, whether it be a village play area, new walking trails, tree planting or a new drama facility for a school, benefitting local communities and visitors.
“This substantial funding underlines the tremendous value of good planning and showcases the benefits that flow from high-quality development in a protected landscape such as the South Downs National Park.”