Apply for coastal cash

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PROJECTS on the north Northumberland coast are being invited to bid for funding from a pot of £25,000.

The Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Sustainable Development Fund, which has been running for more than six years, supports projects that bring social, environmental and economic benefits to the AONB as well as developing and testing new ways of achieving a more sustainable way of living.

The scheme has granted nearly £350,000 since it began, helping more than 58 projects become reality.

There is £25,000 available in the grant fund for 2012/13. The fund can provide grants from £500 up to £5,000 to those who wish to explore and develop practical projects that conserve and enhance the local environment, develop local economic activity, promote local produce and products or link local communities and improve quality of life.

This year, the AONB would particularly welcome applications from caravan/camping sites to develop landscaping schemes and wildlife improvements; renewable energy projects that benefit the community and proposals that find a viable second use for locally historic buildings.

Charities, trusts, community and voluntary organisations can apply for 75 per cent funding. Businesses and authorities can apply for up to 50 per cent funding.

The grant scheme is open to those based in, or operating in, any parish within or adjacent to the AONB, which runs along the coast between Amble and Berwick.

The application deadline is Monday, February 20. The appraisal panel will meet during March to allocate the fund and projects can begin from April 1.

To speak to someone about an idea or project and to obtain an application form, contact Catherine Gray, grant scheme officer on 01665 511213 or Catherine.gray@northumberland.gov.uk Information is also available on the AONB website www.northumberlandcoastaonb.org