A SOUTH Craven scheme is among 'green' projects across North Yorkshire which will benefit from a £7 million funding pot.

The Kildwick to Silsden Active Travel Link is one of 23 initiatives approved for a share of the York and North Yorkshire Net Zero Fund.

The money will be allocated by the Government's Department of Levelling Up and Communities, subject to a devolution deal progressing for the region – which would see the formation of a combined authority, election of a mayor and transfer of powers and funding from national to local government.

Parliamentary debates on devolution are expected this autumn, with the mayoral elections timetabled for May next year.

The projects chosen for funding were approved at a meeting of the York and North Yorkshire joint devolution committee.

Campaigners have long been pressing for improvements to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal towpath between Kildwick and Silsden, which supporters say would encourage more walkers and cyclists to use the route.

Many other sections of the towpath have already been upgraded.

A York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership spokesperson says: "The fund will invest in schemes that can deliver significant carbon reductions and contribute to the region's ambition to be net zero by 2034.

"Alongside carbon reduction, investment aims to create a pipeline of net zero projects that will drive economic growth, create jobs, reduce energy costs for businesses and leverage further investment for the region.

"The approved projects cover a broad range of issues relating to net zero, such as decarbonisation of community buildings and transport, as well as innovations in energy generation."

Alongside a £6 million pot of cash allocated to fund capital projects, including the South Craven scheme, £1 million will be used to develop new net zero ventures.

It's estimated that collectively the 12 capital schemes alone will result in more than 70,000 tonnes of carbon emissions being saved between 2025 and 2029.

The projects also include moorland restoration and a community transport decarbonisation project.

North Yorkshire Council leader, Councillor Carl Les, says: "This is a significant step forward for projects which will be extremely important to help us achieve our aims of tackling the threat of climate change, while driving forward innovation and expertise in the green technology sector.

"This is a clear indication of the benefits that are already being realised ahead of the proposed devolution deal for York and North Yorkshire being introduced."