Successful schemes will have a focus on implementing the most effective and value for money solutions to reduce the landscape and visual impacts of National Grid’s existing electricity infrastructure in AONBs and National Parks.
The primary criteria
- How effective is the project likely to be in reducing the impact of existing electricity transmission infrastructure on publically accessible viewpoints and the general visual resource experienced by local communities and/or by visitors to the area?
- How effective is the project likely to be in enhancing the landscape in the affected area (not related to specific groups of people or viewpoints) in ways that may reduce or compensate for the impact of relevant electricity transmission infrastructure?
- Is the project in keeping with the character of the landscape? Does it help to foster regional and local landscape diversity and distinctiveness (informed by Natural England’s national Character Area profiles, LANDMAP information in Wales, and any local landscape character assessments that may be available)?
- Does the project support objectives set out in the AONB or National Park management plan for the area?
Other environmental criteria
- What other environmental benefits will the project bring through e.g. protecting or enhancing biodiversity and/or protecting or enhancing historic features?
- Has the project been designed to avoid adverse effects on environmental features such as wildlife sites and historic features?
(Applicants are expected to demonstrate that they have consulted the appropriate environmental and historic environment records and, where necessary, relevant advisors.)
- Does the project give rise to other inadvertent environmental impacts, for example through pollution or ground disturbance while works are carried out?
- Does the project require planning permission, protected species licencing, or other consent?
This can be checked with your local AONB Partnerships or National Park Authority representative.
Social and economic criteria
- Does the project contribute to improving public access and enjoyment of the area?
- Does the project demonstrate a partnership approach and/or community involvement in its development, design and/or implementation?
- Does the project contribute to sustainable social and economic development in the area, for example through use of local suppliers of products, services and materials?
- Does the project contribute to education and development in the area including vocational and practical training that has the potential to improve the local skills base?
Practical project criteria
- Does the project have a clear and realistic set of objectives which will allow outcomes to be monitored and evaluated?
- Are the arrangements for providing match funding appropriate and deliverable? (Note: we will only fund up to 75 percent of project costs, for details of how to raise the other 25 percent click here for our Guidance on Match Funding)
- Are the proposed arrangements for delivering the project appropriate and robust and likely to lead to successful outcomes?
- Are there realistic proposals for three year maintenance and for ongoing management to ensure that benefits are fully realised?
- Are measures in place to ensure appropriate levels of monitoring and evaluation of outcomes?
- Does the project include measures to publicise it (alongside other VIP projects, if appropriate), and to ensure that wider learning for other areas can take place?
Projects are not expected to meet every one of the above criteria, but your chances of being funded are likely to be higher if more of the criteria are met.