Three new sites will be developed as business hubs, small-scale affordable housing will be built in 25 villages and a new cultural event aimed at young people will be staged in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, if an ambitious new action plan is delivered in full over the next five years.
A detailed plan aimed at attracting younger people to the Dales has been drawn up by the National Park Authority and district councils since The Yorkshire Post’s series of reports on the existential challenges facing its communities last year.
Three of the area’s four district councils, and the Park Authority, has committed a total of £80,000 towards delivering 15 projects by 2024.
Short-term priorities include commissioning a detailed independent study into the Park’s socio-economic conditions, tasking architects with designing a new “vernacular” for modern housing and working with existing promotional projects to showcase the benefits of living in the Dales.
Among the plan’s medium term priorities are developing a marketing plan to attract families and businesses, to study the barriers to businesses relocating to the Park and to accelerate the roll-out of superfast and hyperfast broadband to Grassington, Hawes and Reeth.
The plan also identifies a need to deliver one key regeneration project in each district, with potential sites highlighted including the former Linton Camp site and Threshfield Quarry in the Craven district and Yore Mill at Aysgarth and lord north of Reeth Dales Centre in Richmondshire. Some of these projects are recognised as long-term ambitions.
The new action plan is designed to complement the National Park’s latest five-year management plan which was adopted last year.
The management plan – said to the most important in the Park’s history – sets out aims that include creating at least 400 new homes, increasing the number of quality of jobs, boosting fibre broadband and 4G mobile phone coverage, retaining primary schools and GP surgeries, and all the while promoting the park as a place to live for younger working-age families.