In 2011 a number of people who live and work in Settle and the surrounding villages came together because of a shared concern about the negative impact they believed the large number of HGVs servicing the Ribblesdale quarries were having on the local economy and environment.
The group decided that in order to determine if their concerns were justified, it would be necessary to conduct a rigorous, independent study to gather and analyse data and evidence.
In 2012, the group appointed England & Lyle, a well established firm of planning consultants, and amt-i, the professional consultancy arm of Action for Market Towns, to conduct an in-depth study of the local economy. The funding for the study was raised from donations from local businesses, organisations and individuals.
The ‘Settle Regeneration Study: Study Report’ was published in July 2012. The report provided hard, independent evidence about the negative impact of HGVs and confirmed that fears were well justified. The report also highlighted a number of other issues, both positive and negative, that impacted on the local economy and environment.
In late 2012 / early 2013, steps were taken to form an organisation to be known as Friends of Upper Ribblesdale (FOUR) and having the following objectives:
· to preserve, enhance and promote the special qualities of the environment, landscape and heritage of Upper Ribblesdale.
· to encourage the development of a vibrant and sustainable economy within Upper Ribblesdale.
· to improve the quality of life of people who live in Upper Ribblesdale.
Friends of Upper Ribblesdale (FOUR) was formally constituted in March 2013, a Management Committee was established and Pat Harding elected as the organisation’s first chair person.