Thursday, 26 November 2015

Broads funding protected in Chancellor's spending review

The Broads Authority's national park grant is to be protected from cuts for the next four years, the Chancellor George Osbourne announced as part of the Government's comprehensive spending review.

The news, which came despite a 15% cut in funding to Defra, was gladly welcomed by the Authority.

Chief Executive John Packman said: "We are delighted that the funding of National Parks has been protected for the next four years.

"This demonstrates how well the Government understands and appreciates the immense value we give the country for very little investment – less than 90p per person a year.

"Not only do the 15 parks have a priceless positive impact on people’s well-being but the economic contribution from tourism and other businesses is greater than that of the UK aerospace industry."

The Authority has seen a 40% cut in real terms to its national park grant over the last six years but has worked hard to ensure this has not had a negative impact on looking after the Broads. In addition to savings from a back office restructure and moving premises, officers have increased commercial revenue and secured external funding and sponsorship.

National Parks UK is also continuing to pursue commercial sponsorship on a national level.

Campaign for National Parks Chief Executive Fiona Howie said: “It is great news that the Chancellor has listened to concerns about the future of English national parks and confirmed their funding will be protected for the rest of this Parliament.

“National parks are nationally important assets which deliver important environmental, social, economic and cultural benefits to both local communities and the nation and it’s wonderful that their value has been recognised."

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