Sustainable Development Fund

The Sustainable Development Fund is available in the Wales part of the Wye Valley AONB to support innovative and sustainable projects involving local communities within and adjacent to the AONB. The grant is delivered by the Wye Valley AONB Unit, on bhalf of the Welsh Government.

What is the purpose of the fund?
The Sustainable Development Fund (SDF) aims, through partnership, to develop and test ways of achieving a more sustainable way of living in a landscape of great natural beauty and diversity.

The Fund is primarily for practical, innovative schemes that engage local communities.  The Sustainable Development Fund seeks to conserve and enhance the local characteristics of wildlife, landscape, land use and community.

Sustaining the social well-being and economic viability of communities are also important aims of SDF.

The projects that will be supported are those which meet the statutory purpose of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs), which is:
To conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

How much money is available?

In 2017/18 £55,000 is avaible for projects in Wales. 

Applications can be for small grants of less than £1,000, including for landsape and biodiversity enhancements, or larger grants of up to £25,000 in exceptional circumstances.

Who can apply for funding?
The scheme is available to any organisation including community or voluntary groups, local authorities, as well as the private sector and individuals. The private sector and individuals must demonstrate that their projects have a wider public benefit.

The proposed project must meet the purpose of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the objectives of the scheme and be located in or have direct benefit to the Wye Valley AONB.

Your project must comply with any relevant regulatory requirements e.g. planning permission, building regulations etc.

Examples of projects, which may be funded by SDF:

  • Schools projects – such as the management of grounds for wildlife; energy, waste, and traffic reduction initiatives
  • Incorporation of locally sourced materials renewable energy, or energy efficiency components, and or the use of traditional building skills into the design of public or communal buildings
  • Transport projects to reduce car use and improve health by increased activity
  • Enhancement of village open spaces for local use (e.g. community activities) and wildlife and/or restoration of historic features e.g. village pond, community orchard or traditional boundaries
  • Community projects which conserve the elements of culture and social well-being e.g. film club, local heritage exhibitions
  • Training programmes to safeguard traditional skills through modern apprenticeship, skills exchange e.g. hedge laying, stone walling, conservation management
  • Feasibility research and/or the development of innovative products and initiatives such as renewable/green energy schemes.
  • Landscape & Biodiversity Enhancements, The SDF grant can support works at a rate of 50% of the total cost up to a maximum of £1,000.  The grant is aimed at small scale holdings, parish/community councils and community spaces, or where existing agri-environment grants are not availalbe and where biodiversity gains can engage and benefit those who live within the local environment.

Eligible works may include:

  • Orchard planting/gapping up
  • Hedgerow management
  • Dry-stone wall restoration
  • Life sustaining work to veteran trees
  • Pollarding, coppicing and activities relating to the promotion or conservation of biodiversity
  • Riparian tree management
  • Pond creation/restoration

To discuss the suitability of your project contact :
Community Links Officer

T: 01600 710844


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