BALANCE is a cross-border cooperation project between five organisations from the Netherlands, Flanders and the United Kingdom, all working in land development and management of green spaces in rural and semi-urban areas. BALANCE is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Green spaces with valuable habitats are being lost. Demand for green spaces which combine nature and recreation increases. People are looking for a quiet living environment, even near towns and cities. The challenge is to create a safe and healthy environment balancing nature and recreation. Actions planned for the AONB within BALANCE are:
- A Visitor & Tourism Strategy that will raise awareness of landscapes and lead to informed choices regarding future visitor areas.
- Improvements to the Suffolk Coast Path, Sandlings Walk, Stour & Orwell Walk and routes to key locations in the AONB. This will include information boards and ‘Explorer’ guides.
- Seek opportunities to develop ‘I’m a Good Dog!’ the AONB Campaign for responsible dog ownership.
- Promote car-free itineraries for visitors.
- Gather information and data on the number of visitors to the AONB and their profile. The same data will be collected by all 5 partners to give a consistent socio-economic inventory and report for all BALANCE regions.
- A detailed socio-economic study of the Suffolk Coast Path, Sandlings Walk and Stour & Orwell Walk.
January 2011-December 2013
Total Project Budget:
€ 7 million
Total EU Funding for the Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB:
€254,400/£219,000 (from ERDF, Interreg IVa 2 Seas Programme).
Total match funding generated by the Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB and partner organisations:
Flemish Land Agency (VLM), Deltanatuur, RSPB (Cornwall), Kent County Council (Economic Development).
Our partners in the Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB include Suffolk County Council; Suffolk Coastal District Council; Natural England; Suffolk Secrets; Thorpeness and Aldeburgh Hotels.
We are very pleased that all the above organisations have come together and that the Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB will be improved for people and landscape as a result. This is a great achievement for Suffolk.
For more information contact Neil Lister, BALANCE Project Manager