Wales’ National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty will benefit from an extra £1.9 million, following an announcement by Environment Minister, John Griffiths.
Speaking at a National Parks seminar in Brecon, the Minister announced that he would commit £1.2 million of Sustainable Development Fund money to Wales’ National Parks and a further £700K to Wales’ Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty over the next two years.
Speaking about the funding, the Environment Minister said: “Here in Wales we are blessed with three National Parks and five Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. These areas, along with our wider natural environment generally, are vital to the health and well being of people in Wales. They also make a significant contribution to the Welsh economy, contributing £8.8bn worth of goods and services each year and forming nine percent of Welsh GDP. That is why I am delighted to announce £1.9 million over the next two financial years to support some of Wales’s most prized areas.”
The money will be allocated through the Sustainable Development Fund which has been established to engage communities living in and around protected areas in sustainability projects.
The National Parks have proved their sustainable credentials over recent years with successful projects such as the Stackpole Gardens Centre in Pembrokeshire, the Moelyci Environmental Centre in Snowdonia and the Green Valleys project in the Brecon Beacons.
This extra funding will help to ensure the development of more projects aimed at making Wales a more sustainable country.
The Welsh Government’s decision to provide funding over a two year period will ensure that projects have time develop, to lever funding from other sources, and ultimately to deliver better long term outcomes for Wales.