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Yorkshire was today at the centre of a£12.5m investment programme for the region when countryside minister Elliot ...
Yorkshire was today at the centre of a£12.5m investment programme for the region when countryside minister Elliot Morley launched the latest government initiatives to boost rural jobs and the local environment.

The initiatives include an£11.4m farm tourism initiative for

the whole region, and over a million pounds for the regeneration of

farm woodlands in North Yorkshire. Both projects have been developed

under the European Union structural funds initiative to promote the

development of rural areas.

Initiating the launch of both projects in Yorkshire Mr Morley said:

'The launch of these projects today illustrate the government's

commitment to the future of the countryside and are a testament to

the planning, hardwork, and vision of all the individuals and

organisations involved.

'The Yorwoods project and farm tourism initiative are an excellent

example of what can be achieved under the Objective 5b scheme. I

hope it will continue to be at the heart of future developments in

the countryside in partnership with individuals, private industry and

public bodies.

'The countryside is not static but constantly developing and the

enterprise and initiative that have come to fruition today are a

clear example of what can be achieved when individuals,

organisations, and government co-operate under the Objective 5b



1. Details of both projects are attached.

2. Mr Morley launched the woodlands initiative at Dacre near

Harrogate and the farm tourism initiative at Kilnsey Park Estate in


3. Objective 5b is one of seven numbered Objectives under the EC

Structure policy. As of June 1997 188 projects directly benefitting

the agricultural sector have been approved. It provides for aid to

rural areas whose economies are performing significantly less well

than other parts of Member States.

4. The Northern Uplands is one of eleven rural areas in the UK

designated for the purposes of Objective 5b and includes parts of

Lancashire, North Yorks, Durham, Cumbria and Northumberland.




The aim of the project is to raise awareness amongst woodland owners

of the link between good environmental management and improved

economic potential. This will be achieved through: management and

business training, demonstration of best practice, projects

addressing environmental issues in woodlands, training and

information, grant aid, and market awareness.

The region has a lack of tree cover and a majority of the existing

stock is under managed or not managed at all. Most of the woodlands

are in small blocks, 40% are below 3 hectares and 25% are less than 1

hectare. Many are used for overwintering of stock and shelter belts.

The lack of fencing results in overgrazing and tree damage from wild

animals such as deer and rabbits.

The project has a total value of£1,078,354 of which European

Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund will contribute£396,833 and

MAFF£250,924. The publicly funded members of the partnership will

contribute£145,909, The Forestry Contracting Association£109, 694

and other private companies£174,994.

It will create 11 full time jobs, safeguard at least another 80, and

will be of significant environmental benefit to North Yorkshire.

The partnership includes: English Nature, Forestry Authority, North

York Moors National Park, Forestry Contractors Association, Timber

Growers Association, Yorkshire Dales National Park, and the Yorkshire

Agricultural Society.



This project comprises of four initiatives submitted by the Regional

Tourist Boards for Cumbria, Northumbria, Yorkshire and the North

West. The projects seek to develop a range of measures to increase

and improve farm tourism across the whole of the Northern Uplands

area and together form a significant farm tourism strategy for the


The objectives are to increase visitor numbers and spending through

promotion and marketing, and improve competitiveness by increased

training. Other key objectives include enhancing the environment and

provision of public access. These will be delivered through

enterprise consultancy, marketing and business grants, capital

grants, skills training, and support for group and individual

marketing and promotional programmes.

Together the four projects have a total value of£11.4m, of

this the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund

contribution is just under£2.2m and the MAFF contribution is


Other partners include: regional development councils, local

authorities, training and enterprise councils, and the private sector

through individual farm tourism enterprises.

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