Huge cash injection for the South Downs

Government sells off HMS Ocean for £84m

The government has announced £11.4m funding for the South Downs National Park for the next year.

The funding will be given as the National Park Authority starts managing the stretch of countryside from April next year.

Margaret Paren, chairwoman of the South Downs National Park Authority at Midhurst, West Sussex, said: 'Next year we will be taking on new responsibilities including planning and operational work across the park area.

'The grant given to us by central government is a significant increase on the current funding provided by local authorities and Natural England to support the work of the current South Downs Joint Committee.

'We welcome that injection of funding into the South Downs area.

'We will continue to work with all of our partners to ensure we get the maximum benefit from the expenditure.

'We will be providing community grants totalling 400,000 next year aimed at supporting initiatives involving the local community.'