CENTRal Devon MP Mel Stride has welcomed news that £440,000 of Government funding is being invested in Dartmoor National Park.

The announcemment follows lobbying from local MPs, the Dartmoor National Park Autority itself and others for funding to help keep threatened Princetown Visitor Centre open.

The Government has announced that all ten National Park Authorities will benefit from an equal share of the additional £4.4 million funding. The extra investment will support services for visitors, including education and visitor centres, ranger services, new trails, residential programmes, and provide more opportunities for people to enjoy national parks.

The Government has also confirmed that the Farming in Protected Landscapes (FIPL) scheme, delivered across 10 National Parks and 34 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty since 2021, has been extended until March 2025 to continue supporting custodianship of our world renowned natural heritage.

Central Devon MP Mel Stride, whose constituency covers half of Dartmoor including the towns of Chagford and Moretonhampstead as well as Okehampton on the northern fringes of the moor, said: ‘Businesses within Dartmoor face many challenges, not least the rise in energy prices resulting from Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

‘Boosting tourism and bringing additional revenue into our market towns is absolutely vital, as is making sure that Dartmoor isn’t just accessible to locals but is enjoyed by people from all over the country who don’t have one of the most beautiful parts of the UK right on their doorstep.’

The DNPA, meanwhile, has described the money as a ‘sticking plaster’ saying that ‘a one-off payment does not solve the underlyig problem of how to sustain core services in the face of 12 years of real-term cuts.’