New money for old fingers

Last month we reported that Somerset County Council (SCC) was encouraging other local councils and special interest groups to seek funding to save the our “fingerposts”. These iconic signposts, a Somerset speciality, have been showing the signs of age. Many lead a lot of tlc to bring them up to scratch and ensure they survive into the future. SCC can no longer afford to maintain them. Across Somerset, and particularly in Exmoor National Park which has been running the successful Exmoor Historic Signposts Project, volunteers have been working hard to restore their signposts but lack of funds is often the factor holding back other areas.

Now the Campaign for Rural England (CPRE) have stepped into the fray. Chris Lewis, Chair of CPRE Somerset told us “We are delighted to announce that the Hinkley Point C Community Fund (Small Grants Programme) has awarded us a grant which means we can offer help to Parish Councils within a 10 mile radius of Hinkley C who wish to work on their fingerposts, particularly those on main roads.”

If 10 miles doesn’t dound like much (and a lot of it will be in the sea!) then it may still be more than you think. It would include Brean, Burnham and Highbridge, Bridgwater, North Petherton, Watchet, Willington and Cothelstone.

Advice and support is available on how to carry out surveys and assess what works are needed – and volunteers can attend free workshops on Highway Safety Awareness, run by Somerset County Council. The amount of funding is limited and Parish Councils will be expected to match fund any grant offered. Funding is available for the next 2 years and will be offered to Parish Councils in a 10 mile radius of Hinkley C on a first come, first served basis, giving priority to works on fingerposts visible from main roads.

CPRE Somerset will be contacting all Parish Councils in the project area directly to invite expressions of interest.  Interested Parish Councils and volunteers should contact Becky Collier, CPRE Somerset Branch Manager – admin@cpresomerset.org.uk

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