County cash will complete 'vital' Lundy road

DEVON County Council has announced vital investment in the local tourism industry by contributing to a �1million scheme to repair the access road on Lundy Island. The council confirmed �100,000 of funding for the project at today's (Wednesday) Weathering

DEVON County Council has announced vital investment in the local tourism industry by contributing to a �1million scheme to repair the access road on Lundy Island.The council confirmed �100,000 of funding for the project at today's (Wednesday) "Weathering the Storm" conference in Exeter. The conference has been looking at how to counter the effects of the recession and stimulate the economy.The road on Lundy was built around 1830, and provides the only access onto the island for visitors, staff, materials and supplies. Due extreme weather conditions over recent years the road had deteriorated to a critical condition and emergency work has been needed over the past two years as money was raised. The announcement of today's funding means that the scheme can now be completed, allowing Lundy to continue to attract visitors and assuring the island's future.As well as being of maritime and environmental importance, Lundy is also a valuable asset to the county in terms of green tourism. The island receives around 20,000 visitors a year, generating an income of �1.7m last year and employing some 49 island and mainland members of staff. While the majority of people make day trips to Lundy, 4,000 people stay on holiday on the island - and bookings are up by 6 per cent compared with this time last year.Devon County Council Leader Brian Greenslade said: "We cannot find any record of investing in Lundy, which is of course very much part of Devon. Therefore we are delighted to make this grant of �100,000 to complete the road scheme to allow the many people who visit Lundy to continue to enjoy this treasure off the North Devon coast in safety for very many years to come."Cllr Humphrey Temperley, Devon County Council Executive Member for Strategic Planning, Regional and International Affairs and County Councillor for Bideford South and Hartland, added: "I am delighted to announce today that we are making a grant of �100,000 to the Landmark Trust to support its management of tourism on the unique island of Lundy. "Last year Lundy drew record numbers of visitors, but damage to the access road up from the landing stage had put at risk the whole tourism operation of the island. Our grant goes towards a �1million repair project that is also being supported by �500,000 from the National Trust, grants from other charitable trusts and over �130,000 in individual donations."Peter Pearce, director of the Landmark Trust, said: "We are delighted that Devon County Council is providing this funding which helps us complete our appeal. It is an essential investment in the future economic prosperity of the island and the region. "We have also been generously supported by the National Trust and the many supporters of the Landmark Trust who responded to the public fundraising appeal launched in August 2007. We thank all those involved."The majority of funding has been provided by the National Trust, The Landmark Trust, Devon County Council, The Lundy Fund and The Charles Dunstone Charitable Trust. A further 17 trusts provided grants totalling �29,000 and more than 2,000 individuals contributed to a further �131,000 for the appeal.This year marks the 40th anniversary of the acquisition by the National Trust and the Landmark Trust's management of the island. Lundy is a granite outcrop 11 miles off the North Devon coast where the Bristol Channel meets the Atlantic Ocean. The island is one of the most important sites for nature conservation in the UK, with rare species of birds, insects, marine life and plants. It is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, England's only Marine Nature Reserve and the UK's only No Take Zone, meaning that no fishing can take place within the area. Lundy's cliffs are home to the largest seabird colony in southern England with kittiwakes, guillemots, razorbills, fulmars and shags competing for space. Puffins nest in burrows along these cliffs and Lundy also provides one of only two nesting sites in England for Manx shearwaters.

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