Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Sustainable Development Fund

The purpose of the SDF is to enable local communities and other organisations to make a difference in AONBs by promoting and achieving sustainable development. The Government has stated that these schemes should focus on integrating the environment, local communities and the economy so that AONBs are conserved and their natural beauty enhanced, making them more enjoyable for all. For 2017-18, as part of our grant award from Defra, we have around £16,000 to distribute to local groups.

The Sustainable Development Fund reflects the Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs’ (Defra) objectives of sustainable development, partnership and social inclusion. It will aid the achievement of AONB objectives by encouraging individuals, community groups and businesses to co-operate in developing practical sustainable and local projects. Defra has stated that they would wish the scheme to ‘develop and test new ways of achieving more sustainable ways of living in countryside of great natural beauty and diversity, which enhance and conserve local culture, wildlife, landscape, land use and community’.

Grants can be used to:
  • Pump-prime new sustainable development projects which have been unable to find funding from other sources
  • Provide match-funding for new sustainable development projects
  • Add value to existing sustainable development projects
  • Add a sustainable development aspect to existing projects

If you have a project in mind, please contact the AONB Unit. All projects need to be completed by 31st March 2018. If you need any more information or guidance on preparing an application, please contact the AONB Unit on 01785 619185, or email via the 'contact us' button on this website.