MORE services than ever before are to be made electronically available to the public after national park chiefs secured a major cash injection.

The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority has been awarded a £200,000 Government grant to make a wealth of facilities accessible by the touch of a button, during the next three years.

Once the measures are in place, residents and visitors will be able to reserve accommodation, make planning applications, book events, pay for services, apply for grants and research the history of the Dales, all online.

Richard Burnett, the authority's head of finance and resources, said: "This grant has the potential to transform the way we deliver services to the public.

"Everyone will be able to access the full range of information and services, at times and locations convenient to them, by phone, email, Internet, 24-hour touch screen and fax."

The funding has come from the national Local Government Online initiative, which recognises that electronic services can transform the way authorities communicate with their communities.

The park authority submitted its funding bid last July.

Mr Burnett said: "In recent years, information technology has revolutionised the way we live.

"We can book cinema tickets, obtain our bank balance and contact distant relatives all through electronic means.

"As a result, public expectations have grown and, as an authority, we must respond to this by providing our services in a way the public wants."

The authority will receive £200,000 in the coming financial year and a further £200,000 the year after if the initial work is successful.