Ribble Rivers Trust is celebrating the news that it has received initial support, including a £371,500 development grant, from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to work up a project entitled ‘Ribble Life Together’.
The project aims to achieve a healthier water environment for the benefit of people within the Ribble Catchment by improving its natural heritage and will be delivered in partnership with other organisations operating within the catchment, from United Utilities to the Forestry Commission.
Healthy watercourses and the land surrounding them provide many important benefits, such as reduced flood risk, clean bathing waters and valuable tourist attractions. But according to the recent assessments, two thirds of the catchment’s watercourses are failing to meet good ecological status for many reasons. The Ribble Rivers Trust believes that by working together with local partners to combine aims and objectives, activities can be aligned and more benefits can be achieved.
During the 18 month development period, Ribble Rivers Trust and its partners will develop plans to deliver activities that ensure rivers and the land surrounding them are better managed and monitored, with a view to improving their condition.
The project will have a significant focus on involving local people, helping them to learn about their natural heritage, develop skills, change their attitudes towards their environment and provide new opportunities for everyone to enjoy their natural landscape.
By working with local partners, local contractors and businesses to undertake activities that improve the catchment and attract and protect tourism, the project will help to create and safeguard jobs giving a significant boost to the local economy.
Jack Spees, Director of the Ribble Rivers Trust, said “We’re ecstatic about being awarded the HLF grant. We believe it will significantly transform the water environment, benefitting both wildlife and people living in the catchment. We also want to demonstrate that working in partnership can achieve much more and we hope this will result in changes to the way organisations deliver activities in the catchment in the future”.
At the end of the 18 month development phase, the Trust will reapply to the Heritage Lottery Fund for the full grant amount of £1.6million to deliver the project over 3 and a half years.