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Natural Capital Challenge Fund

Devon County Council is launching a new fund to support projects that use Natural Capital as a tool to create employment and skills

What is Natural Capital?

Natural capital is the sum of our ecosystems, species, freshwater, land, soils, minerals, our air, our seas and natural processes. These are all elements of nature that either directly or indirectly bring value to people and communities. They do this in many ways but chiefly by providing us with food, clean air and water, wildlife, energy, wood, recreation and protection from hazards.

Natural Capital is a key asset for Devon as a predominantly rural county with two coastlines, two National Parks and five Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

If we make the most of our natural capital, we can bring about a range of social and economic benefits as well as protecting and enhancing our natural environment. The benefits can include improved health and wellbeing, opportunities for culture and recreation, sustainable energy and transport, enhanced biodiversity, protection from natural hazards such as flooding, green infrastructure, business opportunities, growth in employment and skills, and a boost to long-term prosperity.

Natural Capital Challenge Fund

The Natural Capital Challenge Fund has been set up to support the recovery of businesses and the wider economy of Devon following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Key Objective of this fund is to support, develop and fund a small number of high-quality Natural Capital initiatives that will create employment and training opportunities in Devon.

The fund is available for businesses, charities and community organisations across Devon to help support initiatives that use natural capital to create employment and skills.

We will prioritise projects that:

  • Create employment
  • Provide opportunities for acquiring accredited skills
  • Enhance the natural environment and/or conserve natural resources
  • Trial a new approach that will help to inform future policy and practice in Devon
Who can apply?

Businesses, including social enterprises; charities; not-for-profit organisations such as community groups

What is the funding for?

The Natural Capital Challenge Fund will support, develop and fund a small number of high-quality Natural Capital initiatives that will create employment and training opportunities in Devon.

Projects will need to demonstrate that they can achieve both:

  • Economic outputs – job creation, new skills
  • Natural Capital outputs – eg. restoring habitats, carbon capture & storage
Where can projects take place?

Activity needs to be wholly within Devon (excluding Plymouth and Torbay).

How much is available?

The maximum grant is £50,000. This can be capital or revenue. Larger grants may be considered in exceptional circumstances.

When can projects take place?

Applications must be submitted by 5pm on Friday 20 August 2021. Projects can run for up to two years. All funding must be spent by 31 March 2023.

How do I apply?

Download the Natural Capital Application Pack using this link.

You will need to complete the application form and appendix 1 and submit it by email to economygrants@devon.gov.uk by the deadline of 5pm on Friday 20 August 2021.

There is further Information & Guidance to help you. Please get in touch if you have any questions about the fund.