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Help for village post office to launch internet hub Add News29 to Scrapbook

The Peak District Sustainable Development Fund is helping a village post office to develop an internet café as a community hub.

The fund has offered a grant of £1,500 to help Rowsley post office diversify by setting up a three-terminal internet café.

Gary Shaw, one of the partners, welcomed the support: “Post offices are having to adapt to stay viable,” he said. “We see the internet as a tool to get people back into the post office. This will help local people who do not have internet access, as well as large numbers of walkers, campers and migrant workers.

“It will be a communication point where people can relax and interact, check e-mails over a coffee, access online goods and services and make cheap calls to friends and family around the world.”

He also hoped the internet cafe would become an access-point for farmers on Defra’s agri-environment schemes, and for jobseekers. It is hoped to be complete by the end of March.

The Peak District National Park Authority, which administers the Sustainable Development Fund, is keen to support rural communities to maintain their vitality through such local services.

The fund allocates £200,000 a year to local eco-friendly business and social projects.

Help needed to shrink Peak District carbon-footprint Add News30 to Scrapbook

The Peak District Sustainable Development Fund is looking for climate-change and business professionals to help target grants on global warming.

The fund needs two specialists to join its eight-strong voluntary panel of local people who allocate £200,000 a year to environmental and educational projects.

The fund’s chair, Anne Ashe, said: “We’d like the Peak District to play a lead role in helping the UK reach its climate-change targets. The fund already helps many ‘green’ projects, but the panel needs more professional expertise specifically to focus on climate-change and business schemes.  We meet four times a year and it is terrifically rewarding in terms of helping the environment, the community and our children’s future.”

Sustainable Development officer Richard Godley, who administers applications, said: “The fund is making a significant difference to the sustainable management of the countryside, and to greater understanding of sustainability, through working with local individuals, businesses, community groups and young people. It’s well worth getting involved.”

The Sustainable Development Fund is administered through the Peak District National Park Authority and financed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. An SDF grant can also open the door to other sources of funding – pulling in more than £1.43m additional grants to the Peak District in 2006/07 alone.

The panel, which is unpaid, meets in Bakewell every three months to assess applications from all around the Peak District. Travel-expenses are re-imbursed.

More details are available on www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/sdf or 01629 816312 or e-mail: sdf@peakdistrict.gov.uk.

Grand Designs rewarded in Peak National Park Add News27 to Scrapbook

The Peak District National Park Authority has rewarded excellence in building design with the presentation of its first ever Design Awards. The awards celebrate the best sustainable and innovative buildings that have enhanced the national park over the past five years.

They all follow principles set out in the Authority’s new Design Guide – an essential, easy-to-read guide for planning applicants, which is packed with pictures of inspiring examples from within the national park.

Barbara Wilson, chair of the Authority’s planning committee, said: “The quality of the entries demonstrate that national park status can encourage the best in creative, sustainable design that harmonises with its setting. We applaud these developers who have combined the contemporary with the traditional to the greater good of the environment and landscape of the national park.”

The overall winner, chosen by an independent panel, was: the Design Museum, café and visitor centre at the David Mellor Cutlery Factory, Hathersage. Designed by Sir Michael Hopkins, it houses a historic collection of David Mellor’s iconic designs for everything from traffic lights to street furniture, and was constructed mostly by hand from reclaimed 150-year-old pitch pine and local stone. It is, said the judges: “A fine design by a fine designer – innovative, empathetic and appropriate.”

Social Enterprise Job Site Launched - 1st in UK Add News26 to Scrapbook

The Social Enterprise Coalition has joined forces with JustMeans.com, a social media company to offer a ‘one-stop shop’ to employers and job-seekers in the social enterprise movement.

The new website will be the UK’s first professional recruitment site dedicated to social enterprises - companies which use business to solve social and environmental problems.

Companies that sign up to the site get their own homepage to post jobs, videos, blogs, and articles in order to attract the right employees.

Register at www.justmeans.com

Prosper in High Peak Add News25 to Scrapbook

Prosper in High Peak, a new guide published by the council's economic development team, invites new businesses to become part of the borough's vibrant local economy.

The guide gives information to potential investors who are considering the High Peak as a place to locate and grow their businesses. Helpful topics such as: education, skills training and communication are featured.

Specific support is detailed for:

  • tourism businesses;
  • manufacturing and engineering;
  • creative and home-based industries;
  • high-tech and knowledge based businesses: and
  • retail.

Councillor Tony Kemp, High Peak Borough Council's Executive Member for Regeneration, said: "'Prosper in High Peak' showcases the great advantages of the area to potential investors. The council's current major investment in the High Peak's infrastructure and retail and industrial sites, makes this the ideal time to look at what the borough has to offer. New businesses can capitalise on the increasing retail spend potential and other investments that are under development."

Copies of 'Prosper in High Peak' are available from council reception areas, and can be requested by ringing Call High Peak on 0845 129 77 77.

Sainsbury's bid will create over 200 jobs in Biddulph Add News24 to Scrapbook

Supermarket operator Sainsbury's has been revealed as the anchor store for a landmark scheme that will transform the heart of Biddulph town centre.

This week Staffordshire Moorlands District Council signed an agreement with a consortium comprising Sainsbury's and St James Securities Limited, which sets out how the parties will work towards achieving the redevelopment of a 4.8-acre site in the town centre.

The site, which is bounded by the bypass, Wharf Road and Station Road, will accommodate a new Sainsbury's supermarket, new small retail shops and may include a relocated library.

Jamie Cowen, regional development executive at Sainsbury's, said: "We are delighted to have the opportunity to contribute to the regeneration of Biddulph town centre. We are confident that a new Sainsbury's will help to generate more interest in the town as a shopping centre, and believe the store will enhance the existing retail offer.

''The new Sainsbury's will also create over 200 new jobs for the local community and we are committed to building a strong partnership with the town centre retailers in promoting Biddulph."

'Plough to Plate' Report Add News22 to Scrapbook

Business in the Community and leading companies in the food industry have launched a landmark report, 'Plough to Plate'. This research is the first comparative study into the perceptions and priorities of consumers, food producers and those people who help to shape opinion on food production, diet and safety.

The research is a genuine effort to shed light on an area of public debate too often characterised by heat and the negative perception that the main interest groups in the food supply chain - farmers, food producers, retailers and consumers – are more or less in a permanent state of opposition.

There is a knowledge bank of 56 case studies of best practice available - Case studies - categorsied with the key words rural action and marketplace.

£40k to warm up Moorlands communities Add News20 to Scrapbook

Hundereds of householders are to be given the chance to beat out the cold through a host of free or discounted energy efficiency measures. The scheme, called 'Warming Up Moorlands Communities', will look to improve energy efficiency in at least 50 homes in each of five parishes.

Staffordshire Moorlands District Council will  be asked to agree a £41,000 cash pot to help at least 250 households with improvements such as cavity wall and full loft insulation, hot water tank jackets, long-life light bulbs and heating repairs or upgrades.

Councillor Gill Heath, cabinet member for housing and property, said: "We recognise that cold weather can leave many residents feeling the chill in their own homes. This could be because the cost of heating their home is too much to bear, or their homes are not properly insulated."

Prince of Wales to visit Moorland Centre Add News19 to Scrapbook

HRH The Prince of Wales is to visit the innovative Moorland Centre – at the forefront of the battle against climate-change – on Friday June 29. The £1m centre, in Edale at the heart of the Peak District National Park, was officially opened last September by the Duke of Devonshire.

Moorland CentreThe Prince will see the building’s eco-friendly features which reflect its moorland setting, including a “green” roof of sedum turf, a roof-top waterfall and a heating system powered by the earth.

HRH will also experience its dual role as an interactive visitor centre and the UK’s only dedicated moorland research base. This includes the Moors for the Future Project which is carrying out the vital restoration of 3.5km of damaged moorland, including Bleaklow and Black Hill, crossed by thousands of walkers each year.

Tony Hams, chair of the Peak District National Park Authority which leads the Moors for the Future Partnership, said: “We welcome The Prince of Wales’ visit, which will shine a spotlight on this rare, fragile environment that is nevertheless a frontline defence against climate-change.”

Moorland peat is the nation's largest carbon store, holding 3 billion tonnes – far more than all the woodlands in the UK and France put together. Centuries of air-pollution, fires, over-grazing and man-made drainage has meant barren moorlands losing 380,000 tonnes of carbon a year through erosion.

Scientists estimate that restoring UK peatlands could save 400,000 tonnes of carbon - equivalent to the emissions from 84,000 cars a year.

Smokefree Rules Add News21 to Scrapbook

From 1 July 2007, new laws will require virtually all enclosed public places and workplaces, and public and certain work vehicles in England to be smokefree.

If you manage or control smokefree premises or vehicles, you will have legal responsibilities to prevent people from smoking in them. The law will apply to all types of smoking, including smoking of:

A no-smoking sign of specific dimensions and wording must be displayed at every entrance to smokefree premises. No-smoking signs are freely available from the Department of Health. You can find details on the Smokefree England website.

Only a few premises will be exempt from the new smokefree law and all exemptions are subject to strict conditions.

Vehicles will be required to be smokefree at all times if they are used to transport members of the public or used in the course of paid or voluntary work by more than one person - regardless of whether they are in the vehicle at the same time.

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