A DRIVE to help struggling businesses and charities in the Yorkshire Dales by linking them with the national park’s nationally-recognised brand has been hailed “the perfect tonic”.

The move to offer the national park’s Swaledale ram’s head trademark to Dales-based concerns follows a sharp fall in takings this year.

Business leaders said the continuing recession, exceptionally poor weather and the London-based Olympics during the height of the tourist season had combined to hit the local economy.

During the Olympics some bed and breakfast owners reported having no guests and numerous shops saw sales drop with fewer tourists and residents staying at home to watch the sports.

A spokeswoman for the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority said: "We believe that being part of a national park is very special.

"We have designed five versions of the logo that can be used by businesses,community groups, individuals or charities that carry out the substantial part of their work in the national park or that stage an event in or about the national park.

“While the logos are not a quality mark and do not represent an endorsement, funding or any other support by the authority, they will hopefully offer another tourism boost to local people.”

Upper Dales councillor John Blackie said the strong brand of the national park, which attracts around eight million visitors a year, would be of great benefit to many businesses in the area.

He said: “It is well known that the national park has a tremendous pull and if there is an opportunity for businesses to take advantage of that, particularly at a time when there is no discretionary spending money in people’s pockets, so this scheme should be applauded.”

To encourage take-up in the first year of the logo scheme, the authority will pay the £50 fee required by the Intellectual Property Office to register each licence. Once registered, the licence lasts in perpetuity.

Full details about how to obtain a licence are available on the Authority website at