Decision Time

The Landscape Partnership Board met last week on Wednesday 11th and had the difficult job of reducing the budget for the scheme, which had grown to £5.4 million, back to £3.89 million which was the budget agreed with the Heritage Lottery Fund and for which we have the 49% match funding secured.

Over the last month working groups, made up of members from the Local Stakeholders Group and the Landscape Partnership Board, have met to review each project put forward and recommend to the board whether they should be part of the scheme or not based on the criteria for the Heritage Lottery Fund Landscape Partnership Scheme and how well they met the aims of Moor than meets the eye.

The Board then went through this list of recommendations and looked at further budget cuts to bring the budget back down to £3.89 million and create the best scheme possible. This has meant that some projects unfortunately cannot be supported under the scheme and some can only be funded at a reduced level.  What we have as a result is a great, practical scheme which will help tell the story of the people and landscape of Dartmoor and will help conserve this fantastic landscape for future generations.

We will be holding a2014_01_08 Ashburton Meeting Community Meeting at Ashburton Town Hall on Wednesday 8th January 2014 to let people know more about the final proposals and to talk about what happens next. Members of the Landscape Partnership Board and the Local Stakeholders Group will be there as well to talk about some of the projects. A lot of people have been involved in developing projects, public meetings and workshops and sharing views about how the scheme should be developed so a big thank you to all those of you who have contributed in some way!

A downloadable poster is available here 2014_01_08 Ashburton Meeting

The application to the Heritage Lottery Fund will then be made on January16th 2014.

The final steps…

Since the workshop in September everyone has been working really hard to develop their projects and make this scheme become more than just an idea. So thank you for all your hard work so far. In total we now have just over 60 projects to tell the story of the people and landscape of Dartmoor that have been put forward by the dealine of November 22nd. 

Now comes the really difficult bit. The projects each need to be assessed against the HLF criteria and need to fit into the themes that have been develped for the scheme. In some cases projects overlap with others and it might be most appropriate to merge these to create stronger projects. Others may not be developed enough or be more suited for funding from other sources. We also have to consider the budget. Our project pot is £3.89 million with HLF funding for £1.9 million. Not surprisingly the proposed projects come to more than this!

At a meeting with the Heritage Lottery Fund two weeks ago, our case officer gave us some good feedback about the projects put forward, which ones were strong, which ones needed further development and which ones were not suitable for HLF funding. We have also held several working groups made up from the Local Stakeholders group and members of the Landscape Partnership Board. These working groups have looked at each of the projects and commented on them and scored them. The feedback from these groups will be discussed at the Local Stakeholders Group and will inform the decisions that the Landscape Partnership Board will make. The board will meet on December 11th to make these decisions.

During this time Steve, the Project manager for the scheme has also been working with the scheme partners and coordinating the writing of the Lanscape Conservation Action Plan which makes the back bone to our second round application to the Heritage Lottery Fund. The projects will be part of this.This plan is crucial to the scheme and will set out how the projects will be delivered and when. It will set out why these projects are important to the landscape of Dartmoor.

The second round submission to the Heritage Lottery Fund must be made by January 16th 2014.

So all in all its a busy time at the moment!

All the best

Andy