New grants scheme simplifies New Forest funding


Published Monday 31 March 2014

Projects that promote sustainability in the New Forest are set for a boost from a new fund offering grants of up to £50,000.

The Sustainable Communities Fund combines several existing grants schemes to provide a one-stop shop for projects that promote sustainable living and working within the National Park, with grants available for up to 75% of a project’s cost.

Applications are now being accepted from anybody planning to launch or expand a project that supports:

  • cultural heritage
  • biodiversity
  • awareness of why the New Forest is special
  • engagement of people with the National Park
  • provision of local food and goods
  • reducing carbon emissions in the National Park
  • sustainable transport options including cycling facilities.

In addition to the fund’s core objectives sustainable transport is the specialist theme for 2014, with grants for projects aimed at reducing the impact of traffic on the National Park. Any project that encourages visitors and residents to travel car-free in the New Forest could be eligible for a grant, even if it is a small bike shelter or series of guided walks.

The fund simplifies the process of applying for a grant from the National Park Authority by combining existing sustainable transport grant schemes with the Sustainable Development Fund. The latter has supported projects ranging from a woodlark survey to community allotments and since April 2006 has:

  • funded 132 projects
  • awarded £1.45m of grants
  • secured £3m from other sources
  • benefitted 58,000 people.

Marian Spain, New Forest National Park Authority member, said: ‘This new grants scheme is a great opportunity for local people to get the funding they need to launch, expand or improve their project.

‘I hope this fund will encourage more individuals and organisations to develop opportunities for sustainable living and working within the National Park as it has a positive effect on the environmental, community and economic wellbeing of the area.’

To find out more visit

If you would like to discuss a grant application please contact the grants officer on 01590 646634 or email


Notes to photo editor:

Children from Beaulieu Primary School help with digging at Fairweather’s Learning Garden, Beaulieu – an SDF funded project.

Notes to editor:

Sustainable Communities Fund – funds available:

  • For projects requesting  £2,000 or less we can provide up to 100 per cent of project costs

  • For projects requesting over £2,000 we can provide up to 75 per cent of project costs

Up to £50,000 is available for projects related to sustainable transport. These funds are provided by:

  • The ‘Two National Parks’ Local Sustainable Transport Fund programme. This £3.8 million of funding is being used to reduce the impact on traffic in the New Forest and South Downs national parks
  • The New Forest Family Cycling Experiences programme, a £3.57million fund to improve the experience for family cyclists in the New Forest National Park and grow the value of cycling to the local economy.

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 to find out more.

Media Contact:

Matt Stroud, Communications Assistant, New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646650

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