Rural projects awarded grants totalling more than �315,000

FOUR grants totalling more than �315,000 have been made to northern Devon groups by Leader 4 Torridge and North Devon, which provides funding for projects to improve the economy and quality of life in rural areas. A total of �43,750 over two years has be

FOUR grants totalling more than �315,000 have been made to northern Devon groups by Leader 4 Torridge and North Devon, which provides funding for projects to improve the economy and quality of life in rural areas.

A total of �43,750 over two years has been given to the North Devon Food and Drink Project, which will help to raise the profile of quality local produce and encourage its wider use through hotels, restaurants and retailers.

High Bickington Community Property Trust has been granted �193,000 over two years for phase one of the Little Bickington Farm housing development. The money will be used to build two workshops for rent and a new biomass district heating system to generate sufficient heat for the whole development.

The Lynton and Barnstaple Railway Trust has received �16,100 to seek professional fund-raising advice and support and to find sources of funding to extend the railway line.


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A year-long programme of activities by the Ilfracombe Healthy Town Initiative has been granted �62,338. The cash will be used to raise the awareness of health issues, encourage lifestyle improvements and increase access to important health care issues.

Sarah Wragge-Morley, chairman of the Leader 4 Local Action Group, said the grants were good news for the region.

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"We have been really pleased with the mix of applications coming forward, which shows again what a creative and vibrant place we live in," she said.

"While in some cases, this funding is just the starting point for projects, there is the potential for some major growth and achievement because of it."

In total, �3.8 million is available for rural projects over the next five years through Leader 4. The money comes from the Department for the Environment and Rural Affairs and the European Commission through the Rural Development Programme for England.

The programme area includes the whole of Torridge and North Devon districts, with the exception of the six council wards that make up Barnstaple town.

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