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Estonians Making it Local in the Blackdown Hills AONB

( Last Updated: 01-04-2010 )

Members of an Estonian Local Action Group, the West Estonian Islands Partnership, have visited the UK this week and to find out more about the work of Making it Local, the Local Action Group for the Blackdown Hills and East Devon Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  Local Action Groups (LAGs) are locally managed grant schemes, which are tailored to their geographical area. Incorporating funding from the EU, Defra, South West RDA and LEADER, they fund projects to strengthen the local economy, improve quality of life and enable rural communities to thrive.  Making it Local aims to use the outstanding landscapes and local skills in its area as a springboard for healthy and lasting development.

The Estonians have visited Blackdown Hills businesses whose projects have benefited from grants awarded by Making it Local, or its predecessor, LEADER+.  They have also had the opportunity to discuss the projects with members of the Making it Local team, including the Chairman, Devon County Councillor Paul Diviani, and Vice Chairman, Mike Ellingham of the National Farmers Union.

The group at the Common Loaf Bakery, near Hemyock








Local film-maker, Justin Owen, has been commissioned to make a documentary of the visit and followed the Estonians to capture footage of the various businesses and projects, as well as many of the key points raised along the way. The film was premiered at the visitors' accommodation on their last night and they were able to take home copies on DVD.  Parts of the film will be uploaded to the Making it Local  and Blackdown Hills and East Devon AONB websites, as well as to social media sites. 

Making it Local Programme Manager, Jenny Archard, said: "The film will enable the two AONBs and Making it Local to document the kinds of work we want to support and to publicise that in a new way."

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