AONB To Ring Fence Money For Farming Projects

The Isles of Scilly AONB is set to reallocate money from its Sustainable Development Fund towards agricultural activities.

That’s money given to the AONB by Defra to fund local projects.

The AONB’s Joint Advisory Panel voted to ring-fence £10,000 from the current £38,000 budget to pay for free technical support for farmers.

Applications won’t have to go through the normal review panel. AONB manager, Trevor Kirk, said this process currently puts off many potential applicants, as they have to bankroll a project and claim the money back at the end.

And he said he doesn’t feel this will disadvantage normal applicants as they’ve struggled in the past few years to give away all the money anyway.

However, Trevor said there was now work to be done by AONB officers to go out to the farming community and tell them cash is available.

The SDF fund has supported a number of projects on the islands so far this year, including £3,027 for the Wildlife Trust’s new interpretation boards at St Mary’s quay, £4,000 to the St Agnes Island Hall Committee and £5,500 to the Scillonian Sailing Club for restoration of Redwing Dinghies.

£15,000 set aside for Tresco’s Digital Hotspot project will not be used as the applicant has since withdrawn that project.