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Supporting Communities & Business

It is easy to think of a National Park as wide, near empty landscapes, but the South Downs National Park is the most populated National Park in the UK, with 112,000 people living here and over 2 million living within 5 kilometres of its boundary. Our vibrant towns and villages are one of our special qualities and we are working hard to support the villages and towns in and around the National Park to enhance the vital role they play as social and economic hubs.

There are an estimated 7000 businesses located in the National Park providing employment for more than 58,000 people and contributing to both the local and regional economy.

We are looking at a number of ways to provide support to communities:

  • We have worked with partners to create a shared identity for the National Park itself to enable the businesses and communities to benefit from being within it and to encourage more sustainable behaviour from those who enjoy using the National Park.
  • We are working with the Government initiative to extend the proposed coverage of high-speed broadband into the more rural parts of the National Park.
  • We are supporting 46 communities across the National Park to develop neighbourhood plans.
  • We provide small grants to community groups through our Sustainable Communities Fund. For more information please contact the External Funding Co-ordinator on 01730 819219 or email: