£1.37m for North Devon Biosphere.

North Devon UNESCO Biosphere wins £1.37m to boost blue and green economy in the South West.

North Devon UNESCO Biosphere has won the largest green economy award nationally from the HM Government’s Community Renewal Fund (CRF). This will promote green growth and investment in the area while raising well-being for local communities through nature based solutions.

The £1.37m bid, the 6th largest award overall, will enable a new programme of work to create great jobs for local people in northern Devon at the same time as addressing the climate and ecological emergency. The CRF fund will be a big step forward in meeting this aim and will help our biosphere work towards its mission to stimulate the South West’s natural-based economy > 20% GDP by 2030.

This award recognises the unique Natural Capital assets that are within the biosphere designation. These include part of our treasured National Parks, some of the most important agricultural assets within Devon and a huge marine area which includes the Isle of Lundy. Within this, there is a population of nearly 200,000 people all of whom have a relationship with the Biosphere but deserve to participate in this opportunity to improve their economic and social wellbeing,” added Tim Jones, Chairman, North Devon Biosphere Foundation.

This award is the result of an inspired contribution from the project team. In recognition of the quality of the proposition, the funding secured is the largest grant to have been awarded in the Country for a “Green Programme”. It is our biosphere’s ambition to be the lead for Natural Capital activity, regionally, nationally and internationally, this award is a significant step forward in this journey.”

The North Devon UNESCO Biosphere’s CRF programme has two linked elements – the Green Biosphere, focused on woodland, regenerative agriculture and agritech; and the Blue Biosphere focused on offshore wind, aquaculture, marine biodiversity and ‘blue carbon’. Both elements have strong skills development and job creation elements as well as plans to redirect private investment into the area.

The programme will offer solutions for economic development and raising wellbeing for local communities through innovation projects in nature – on land and at sea.

With 70% of Devon’s graduates leaving the county to find better employment elsewhere the CRF money will offer young people exciting job opportunities which will in turn help protect the local rural and coastal way of life AND address regions net zero ambition.

Devon’s richness being translated in to economic prosperity that addresses the climate emergency – including the incredible place we live

To find out more about the work of North Devon UNESCO Biosphere and its trading arm the Biosphere Foundation please head to the website: https://www.biospherefoundation.co.uk/

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