Landscape Enhancement Initiative
About the initiative
The Landscape Enhancement Initiative (LEI) is a grant scheme that forms an important part of National Grid’s Visual Impact Provision project.
"National Grid’s Landscape Enhancement Initiative aims to provide up to £24 million over six years (2015-2021) for localised visual improvement projects."
Chris Baines, broadcaster, environmentalist and chairman of the Visual Impact Provision project
Stakeholder driven and developed by National Grid to make use of an allowance made available by Ofgem – the LEI will help fund local visual improvement schemes that reduce the landscape and visual impacts of existing National Grid electricity transmission lines across English and Welsh Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) and National Parks.
The LEI has been championed by the VIP project’s Stakeholder Advisory Group, which includes organisations such as Natural England, Historic England, Visit England and CPRE plus their Welsh counterparts, along with the National Trust, the Ramblers and the Landscape Institute. It is a major opportunity to make a positive contribution to natural beauty, wildlife and biodiversity, cultural heritage and public enjoyment.
The LEI is in addition to the small number of major engineering schemes which will be progressed as part of the Visual Impact Provision project.
What is the LEI for?
The overall objective of the scheme is to reduce the landscape and visual impact of National Grid’s existing electricity infrastructure and enhance the quality of the affected designated landscapes. Where the visual impacts of the electricity transmission line cannot be directly screened or otherwise mitigated it may be possible to shift emphasis away from the transmission line by enhancing the landscape in other ways.
Who is it for?
It applies to the 30 AONBs and National Parks which contain or are impacted by National Grid’s transmission infrastructure and which were subject to the original landscape assessment in 2014 (PDF, 10Mb).
What funding is available?
The total sum, of up to £24 million, over the next five years is available to all 30 eligible areas. This represents five per cent of the possible total provision with the majority of the allowance to be used for major capital schemes. You can read more about the major schemes on the main Visual Impact Provision site.