CENTRAL Devon MP Mel Stride met with the Secretary of State for Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) last week, alongside representatives from Dartmoor National Park Authority (DNP), to discuss its funding. 

In November 2023, the Government announced an additional £10 million of funding for Protected Landscapes in 2024/25.

The funding will go towards supporting existing National Parks and national landscapes, and comes alongside the announcement that DEFRA will begin its search for a brand-new National Park in 2024.

When Mel Stride met with DNP earlier this year, it was encouraged by the additional funding announced by the Government but raised concerns about what form this funding would take.

The funds will currently be provided for capital investment, rather than the revenue spending that DNP particularly needs for day-to-day costs such as staffing. 

Mr Stride organised the meeting with Steve Barclay, to request that he consider allocating the additional money as revenue funding. 

Mel Stride, MP for Central Devon and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, said: “I have heard Dartmoor National Park’s concerns loud and clear and have had further meetings with ministers to see if we can find a solution which will see DNP meet its pressing need for revenue funding.”

Kevin Bishop, CEO of Dartmoor National Park Authority, said: “We are grateful to Mel for raising our funding position with the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and speaking with the Treasury. We are hopeful for a positive response so we can keep looking after Dartmoor for its communities and the millions who enjoy this special place.”