National Park receives news of Government grant settlement

pony in early morning

Published Saturday 11 January 2014

Budget cuts from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) mean the New Forest National Park Authority will have its core grant cut by a further 2.2% in 2014/15.

A further reduction of 1.7% is expected for the following year.

The Authority has seen its Defra grant reduced by 40% in real terms since 2010 (allowing for the impact of inflation), falling in cash terms from £4.3m to £3m. However during this time the Authority has been highly successful in attracting over £20m in funding from other sources for specific schemes to benefit the Forest.

Coupled with match funding from a range of public, private and charity organisations, it means that for every £1 of project money that the Authority spends, on average a further £17 of external funding is brought into the Forest.

New Forest National Park Authority Chairman Julian Johnson said the Authority had worked hard to make savings as well as increase efficiencies by buying in services from other local authorities such as HR and financial advice, while generating income by selling its services such as tree and ecology expertise to other organisations.

He said: ‘This latest announcement is in line with the grant reduction which we had been planning for and we are confident that we can continue our work to protect the Forest, help people enjoy the National Park and to support our communities. We have also had notice that our grant reduction for 2015/16 is likely to be around 1.7% and we continue to look at other ways to attract funding for the Forest.’

Recent schemes which the National Park Authority has secured funding for include:

  • £2.9m earmarked from the Heritage Lottery Fund for a Landscape Partnership scheme to restore lost habitats, develop Forest skills and inspire a new generation to champion and care for the New Forest, with match funding making a total of £4.5m
  • £3.8m from the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Local Sustainable Transport Fund to promote car-free travel in the New Forest and South Downs National Parks, with match funding making a total of £18.3m across the two national parks
  • £3.6m from the DfT’s Linking Communities Fund to improve family cycling facilities, create jobs and boost the local economy, with match funding bringing it to a total of £5.7m.
  • £551,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for a ‘New Forest Remembers World War II’ project, charting and managing archaeology from the period as well as collating information, memories, photographs and artefacts. Match funding brought this to a total of £755,000.

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Notes to Photo Editor:

The New Forest National Park is a world-class landscape, famous for its free-roaming ponies. Credit: Luke Parkinson.

Notes to Editor:

About the New Forest National Park Authority

Protect - Enjoy - Prosper

The New Forest National Park Authority’s statutory purposes are to:

  • Conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Park - Protect
  • Promote opportunities for understanding and enjoyment of its special qualities – Enjoy.

We also have a duty to:

  • Seek to foster the social and economic well-being of local communities within the Park – Prosper.

The New Forest National Park was designated in March 2005. Its unique landscape has been shaped over the centuries by grazing ponies, cattle and pigs which roam free. Majestic woodlands, rare heathland and a spectacular coastline provide fabulous opportunities for quiet recreation, enjoyment and discovery.

Visit www.newforestnpa.gov.uk to find out more.

Media Contacts:
Hilary Makin, Communications Manager, New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646608
Email: hilary.makin@newforestnpa.gov.uk

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