Sunday, 08 March 2015 21:37

£800k up for grabs from Prince's fund

Written by  Ruralcity Media
£800k up for grabs from Prince's fund

THE Prince's Countryside Fund is looking to invest £800,000 in initiatives that protect and sustain Britain's rural communities.

Groups and organisations can apply for funding of up to £50,000 from the charity, which celebrates its fifth anniversary this year.

     See also: Countryside is undervalued, says Prince's fund

Since its inception in 2010, the Prince's Countryside Fund has given £5mm in grants distributed to 120 projects across the country, directly benefiting 100,000 people.

The fund recently reviewed its funding criteria to clarify the sort of initiatives it will support.

Fund manager Helen Aldis said; "We are looking for projects that will have a long-term positive impact on rural communities and enterprise, helping the people who care for our countryside and make it tick.

"It is one of our most valuable national assets and this funding will give much needed support to the remarkable people working to sustain a vibrant rural economy."

Projects will be considered on their contribution to one of three key countryside issues:

1. Thriving Rural Communities - projects that provide innovative solutions to deliver assets and services that keep rural communities together and develop a more sustainable rural economy - ie. empowering communities to provide village services or create business hubs and employment for local people.

2. Rural Livelihoods - projects that focus on developing stronger, more sustainable farm and rural enterprises with the aim of halting the decline of the rural economy - ie. providing rural businesses with support and advice or supporting farmer led initiatives.

3. Farmers of the Future - projects that help improve skills and increase opportunities of taking up rural careers, in particular in farming, with the aim of helping people to remain within and contribute to the rural economy - ie. training opportunities and apprenticeship schemes that inspire and enable new entrants to consider a career in farming.

Since 2010, The Prince's Countryside Fund has given grants to support 160 rural communities by improving service provision.

It has also supported 4,750 farm businesses by funding projects that work directly with farmers to improve efficiency and profitability and 1,100 rural enterprises through supporting innovative rural business projects.

Some 4,850 young people have benefitted from projects offering training opportunities and 18,000 children educated in food and farming in a sustainable countryside.

For details, visit www.princescountrysidefund.org.uk.

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