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Forge Valley Boardwalk Funding Refused

Forge Valley Boardwalk Funding Refused

Published by Jon Burke at 5:18pm 5th June 2020.

A bid for funding to replace the wooden boardwalk in Forge Valley has failed.

The Full Application bid to the Rural Development – RDPE Growth Programme has been unsuccessful. The bid would have provided the capital expenditure to replace the wooden boardwalk with a 100% recycled plastic with an expected 40 to 50 year life. The bid also included a new footbridge across the River Derwent, improvements to the existing car parks and protection to a sensitive area of woodland.

The bid had been submitted by Raincliffe Woods Community Enterprise, a Community Interest Company with support from North York Moors National Park Authority, Scarborough Borough Council and North York Moors National Park Trust.

The RDPE Growth Programme supports projects which can increase rural tourism. The bid had an important focus on Accessibility Tourism and how the Boardwalk would meet the needs of wheelchairs users in particular. The installation of a new footbridge would open up numerous circular walks in and around Forge Valley and Raincliffe Woods.

Director, Raincliffe Woods Community Interest Company (CIC), Robert Peacock, said:

“The outcome is a huge disappointment given all the time and energy given by so many to the project. We have been informed the application was unsuccessful due to the limited number of new visitors the scheme would attract relative to the expenditure. We can understand this reasoning to a certain extent, but the improvements to the boardwalk are key to the Forge Valley attracting more visitors.”

Chair of RWCE, Robert Sword, expressed his very great disappointment that this decision has been made after a two year application process, a success in passing many hoops to include the expression of interest stage, and lengthy negotiations with the RPA to ensure the application complied with all the conditions. 

He said:

"It is a complete mystery as to why the application has been refused, when the scheme offers so many public benefits to include a safe walking environment through Forge Valley, a nationaly important Nature Reserve and SSSI".

In a joint statement North York Moors National Park Authority and Scarborough Borough council, said:

“We are disappointed to hear that the application for the RDPE Growth Programme has been unsuccessful. This is a project that we strongly support as it will bring a wide range of benefits to users of all abilities and allow more people to access a National Nature Reserve alongside the beautiful River Derwent. The existing boardwalk is over 20 years old and in need of replacement. We will be continuing to support the Raincliffe Woods Community Enterprise going forward until an alternative solution has been found.”

A decision about the future of the boardwalk will be made at a later date. Other opportunities for funding are now being explored.


There are 3 comments on this page.

MrLewis, on 6th June 2020 10:07am
Can somebody start a petition or similar to show how popular the walk is please.
zara, on 6th June 2020 10:43am
No Mr Sword it is not a complete mystery, if you cannot understand it ask Mr Peacock because he seems to have been given a reason. You may not like it but not everyone gets a grant for things. Maybe more people could benefit from the money in other submitted projects.
Royston, on 6th June 2020 7:53pm
What sad news this is to everyone ,who loves this beautiful area.
I stopped using this walk ,a few years back .
I found the wooden board walk very slippy when wet , very damaged in places , and quite narrow when having to avoid the numerous dog poo left . It spoilt the joy of spotting a unusual sighting of a rare bird or just the tranquil setting .
I hoped with the new development safer walking ,would definitely entice many more people like myself back.
The reason this was unsuccessful was due to the limited number of new visitors the scheme would attract relative to the expenditure . Perhaps all the people like myself who stopped due to safety returned, and the influx of the locals discovered this outstanding beauty spot this would be a good investment for Scarborough, I would gladly sign a petition, please in this time of so much troubles
rethink this decision, how so many have relied on the countryside to get through these troubled times .
So many families have low incomes , even in the days of the latest technology parents will make picnics on a sunny day and children under protest will have endless fun , paddling making dams in the beautiful clear waters of the Derwent , please reconsider we owe this to our future generation.

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