Twenty community projects in the South Downs National Park are to benefit from over half a million pounds of extra funding.

The money has been raised through the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) scheme which is administered by the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA). The CIL is a levy paid by developers to support new community infrastructure.

Projects across Hampshire and Sussex will share the windfall of £555,000. The money will be spent on various initiatives including new cycling, leisure and environmental improvements.

In his report below, Malcolm Shaw spoke to Trevor Beattie from the South Downs National Park Authority; and Nigel Tarling from Cycle Lewes.

The Chair of the South Downs National Park Authority, Margaret Paren, said that she was pleased to announce the extra funding at the start of a new decade for the park which was created on 31st March 2010.

"All the projects represent infrastructure improvements that enrich the quality of people's lives, whether that be recreation, health and well-being, transport or having a wildlife-rich environment.

Margaret Paren, Chair, South Downs National Park Authority
There will be improvements for cyclists using Egrets Way between Lewes and Newhaven.

"I'm delighted for the communities in the Lower Ouse Valley who have been championing for the Egrets Way network since 2011. The funding will contribute towards a further 1.1km of multi-user path providing better access to the countryside and amenities and a safer alternative away from the highway."

Alister Linton-Crook, Cycling Project Officer for the National Park,

The twenty projects include:

IN HAMPSHIRE:

  • Ponds, bugs and kids - improvements to an area of Queen Elizabeth Country Park to provide outdoor shelter and improvements to ponds - allowing children to explore and learn about the natural environment. £50,000

  • South Downs Way, Winchester - improvements to South Downs Way and creation of cycle route to improve links to and from Winchester to the National Park. £41,370

  • Meon Valley Trail, Wickham Springs - to upgrade and improve drainage system to help alleviate the problems of flooding / surface water on the existing trail. £35,000

  • Upstream of Liss - Natural Flood Management Project by Arun and Rother River Trust - plant trees and hedgerows in strategic low risk locations to slow surface water and river flooding. £25,000

  • Liss Triangle Centre - construction of rain cover to entrance and improve damp proofing to building. £18,275

  • Liss Village Hall - new toilets. £15,000

  • Twyford - refurbishment of basketball court at Hunter Park. £12,700

  • Twyford - Pavilion at Hunter Park - repair and renovate pavilion building at Hunter Park. £5,000

  • Hangers Way - improvements and upgrading of rights of way between Petersfield and Alton. £11,000

IN WEST SUSSEX:

  • Easebourne Park Phase 2 - new play equipment, multi-use shelter, enhanced perimeter path and composting toilet. £80,270

  • Goodwood Education Centre - to construct a new study centre and toilet facilities at Home Farm to support Goodwood Trust's educational programme. £40,000

  • Petworth - Sylvia Beaufoy Pedestrian Crossing - provide a new pedestrian crossing on A272 close to Sylvia Beaufoy car park. £33,000

  • Findon Play Facilities - installation of new play and exercise equipment at Homewood, Horsham Road. £31,500

  • Lavant River Walk - Marsh Lane to north of Playground. To improve connections from mid-Lavant to Village Green (East Lavant). £10,000

  • Stedham with Iping Recreation Ground - installation of climbing dome on Village Green. £4,850

  • Stedham with Iping - installation of fitness equipment to create a fitness trail. £2,500

IN EAST SUSSEX:

  • Egrets Way Phase 5 - a new shared-use path between Lewes and Newhaven. £113,000

  • Lewes Railway Land Local Nature Reserve - Improvement to habitat water meadows and hedgerows and Signal Box hide. £15,500

  • Lewes Railway Land Local Nature Reserve - footpath improvements. £10,000

  • Lewes Railway Land Local Nature Reserve - Installation of interpretation boards. £1,000