GEOFFREY Cox, MP for Torridge and West Devon, has written to Ministers asking for urgent help to be given to the Ruby Country Initiative, which is threatened by a lack of funds. The Ruby Country Initiative, a rural regeneration project which provides su

GEOFFREY Cox, MP for Torridge and West Devon, has written to Ministers asking for urgent help to be given to the Ruby Country Initiative, which is threatened by a lack of funds. The Ruby Country Initiative, a rural regeneration project which provides support for local businesses, promotes sustainable tourism and raises awareness of the needs of the Holsworthy and Hatherleigh area, only has funding until the end of March this year. Many of the projects linked to the Ruby Initiative are under threat unless more cash is found. Mr Cox said: "The Ruby Country Initiative is a fantastic scheme which does a huge amount to encourage local business and tourism. Despite its great success, the Initiative is about to be cut off in its prime because no financial solution has been found that can give it medium or short-term stability. "This is a reoccurring problem. The continuity of projects like this is vital, yet under the current system worthwhile initiatives can seldom look more than a few years into the future because they do not have guaranteed funding. "I am inviting the Secretary of State to look at this problem as a matter of urgency. I wholly appreciate that times are hard, but in the current economic situation it seems more sensible then ever to concentrate on the schemes that are already working and showing real benefit. Frankly, many grants are given to organisations that are not as productive, or sorely needed, as this one.