The ERDF SUNRISE Project is the biggest and most exciting nature conservation project currently working in Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme. SUNRISE stands for “Stoke and Urban Newcastle Rediscovering Its Secret Environment”.
Funding for the project is provided by the European Regional Development fund and totals £3.6 million.
This is a partnership project: Stoke-on-Trent City Council are the lead partner dealing with funding and project administration and one of the largest project components (Fowlea Brook). Staffordshire Wildlife Trust are leading the ‘on the ground’ work elements of the project on thirteen of the sites.
Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council are also involved as a land owner and are providing match funding for one of the sites and project support on their land holdings — most of the sites involved are owned by one of the two councils.
The Environment Agency are providing advice on aspects of the work which relate to the River Trent and its tributaries which are a central theme of the project goals.
Groundwork West Midlands are leading the work on the last two project sites and finally the Wild Trout Trust are lending their expertise on some of the river restoration work.
The primary goal of the project is to enhance urban habitats, improve the connectivity between these green spaces areas to create a network of natural habitats across the project area and improve opportunities for local residents and communities to enjoy these areas.