Major new regional business scheme leads green economic recovery

20 May 2022 - An exciting new business initiative launches today, aimed at tackling climate change, helping nature and kickstarting a green recovery for the region’s economy following the pandemic.

Our South Downs has been created to provide an innovative network where businesses and organisations can connect with each other, share services and products and work together towards sustainability.

The initiative has been launched by the South Downs National Park Authority’s Enterprise Team and is open, and free to join to all businesses in and around the National Park.

There are currently just under 8,000 businesses within the National Park, with tens of thousands more in surrounding towns and cities across Hampshire, Sussex and Surrey. With 19 million visitors a year, the National Park area already contributes around £5.8bn to the UK economy.

The initiative has a number of key elements to help businesses:

  • Launching this autumn, businesses will be able to join an internationally recognised 'Green South Downs' certification scheme that champions sustainability. The National Park is partnering with Green Tourism, which helps businesses adopt greener ways to operate, such as reducing single-use plastics, reducing carbon footprint, making it easy for employees to recycle and creating a green outdoor space to boost biodiversity. This will be open to both tourism and non-tourism businesses.
  • Free business mentoring session from the Association of Business Mentors.
  • Members can access a free downloadable toolkit of business resources provided by Sussex Innovation Centre.
  • A regularly updated online portal with information for businesses to help with planning, tourism and land-based schemes, as well as search for and connect with other like-minded businesses.
  • Advice and support around maximising energy efficiency and creating stronger supply chains.
  • Information on new funding opportunities when they become available.
  • Discounted venue hire at sites run by the National Park Authority.

To find out more about joining visit the Our South Downs website.