Cash boost for environmental group

Wednesday 15th March 2000 12:00 am

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A WEST Devon green project has been given a cash boost of almost £20,000 by the government — but it only has a month to find match-funding to enable it to use the money.

WestDEN is among 142 environmental protection schemes to benefit from grants totalling £4.2 million under the Environmental Action Fund.

It was awarded the £19,981 grant on Tuesday to continue its pioneering work on sustainability indicators.

Oz Osborne of WestDEN said: 'It's really good news, it's not easy to get money out of the government.

'If we can match-fund it we can review the whole of the first three years of the project, work out what did and didn't work.'

But Mr Osborne said match-funding can be difficult to find, although he hoped the success of WestDEN's sustainability indicators work would attract the necessary backing.

'The Cabinet Office were using it as a reference for community-led research and we are members of a Cabinet Office working group — we go to London quite often to give advice,' said Mr Osborne, who is 'very hopeful' WestDEN will be able to make use of the £20,000 grant.

'It would be very disappointing if we can't — it's a piece of work that has attracted a lot of attention. It's put West Devon on the map,' he said.

Sustainability indicators demonstrate whether quality of life is decreasing or increasing, using key issues chosen by people in the area.

In announcing the awards, Environment Minister Michael Meacher said: 'These awards will fund 142 innovative projects to promote sustainable development, improve our quality of life and protect our planet for future generations.'

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