Natural England - Natural Assets

Natural Assets

Closure of Natural Assets grants programme.

Community woodland (c) Walsall Countryside Services

Natural Assets is closed for new applications

The Natural Assets grant scheme, funded by Advantage West Midlands and delivered by Natural England, is now closed for applications and no further grant awards will be made.

Advantage West Midlands, the West Midlands Regional Development Agency, has been asked to review their projects and programmes as part of the £6.2 billion reduction in public spending for 2010/11 and further reductions in the years up to their closure in March 2012. The Agency’s review has considered the Natural Assets programme and no further applications will be accepted.

Since September 2009 the Natural Assets Programme has made 11 grant awards totalling £1 million in the West Midlands Region.

What is Natural Assets?

Nobody likes to see potential go to waste. At Natural England, we see it all too often – neglected natural spaces that nobody visits and with limited value to the environment or economy.

But what if those spaces were improved and properly maintained, improving biodiversity, attracting visitors and new business, creating jobs and increasing the value of property in the area?

The Natural Assets grant scheme aims to tap into the natural potential of the West Midlands to benefit everyone who lives and works there.

Natural Assets will focus on realising economic benefits from new environmental initiatives.

We would expect any project funded by Natural Assets to be publicly accessible, wherever possible.

Why the West Midlands?

The natural environment is one of the West Midland’s biggest assets.

Anyone who lives and works in the area is never far from a natural space with big environmental, leisure and tourism potential.

But at the moment, that potential isn’t being fully realised with many open natural areas underused and, in some cases, poorly maintained.

By investing in the West Midlands, Natural Assets will show how environmental assets can have a positive impact on the economics of the region and its people –creating a positive legacy that will far outlive the scheme.

What difference will it make?

Projects funded by Natural Assets must take place on or link to the Region’s natural assets. We want them to have a lasting impact. The potential benefits include:

  • Attracting visitors to the area;

  • Creating and safeguarding jobs;

  • Enhancing urban and rural publicly accessible natural spaces;

  • Creating sustainable business opportunities linked to the natural environment;

  • Making better places to live and work by reducing air and noise pollution;

  • Tackling climate change;

  • Reducing flood risk;

  • Increasing productivity by enhancing workers’ surroundings;

  • Improving wellbeing and health through high quality recreational spaces;

  • Engaging young people in nature-based opportunities for learning, enjoyment and employment.

Contact us

For further information and advice please contact:

Giles Merritt, Lead Grants Adviser. Tel: 0300 060 1228

Or email: naturalassets@naturalengland.org.uk

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Advantage West Midlands

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Natural Assets Newsletter

Issue 1 - February 2010: (162kb)pdf document