Thursday, 09 January 2014 12:41

Lottery fund seeks rural delivery partner

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Lottery fund seeks rural delivery partner

THE Big Lottery Fund is looking for a delivery partner to build on its investment in rural social enterprise.

It has announced a Village SOS Learning, Outreach and Engagement Campaign – a two year initiative with a value of up to £1.49 million.

The campaign will provide a support network for rural communities to identify and develop sustainable business ideas as solutions for the problems and issues they face.

A key delivery partner will be appointed and the fund is inviting bids from organisations or consortiums which bring together expertise within the rural social enterprise sector.

Funders hope the initiative will build on the success of Village SOS, an innovative funding programme that put a spotlight on village community projects.

Village SOS also sought to raise awareness of the challenges and opportunities faced by rural people across the UK, inspiring residents to make a difference in their communities.

Lottery fund chairman Peter Aimsworth said the successful winner would be able to demonstrate engagement and inspiration for the duration period of the contract.

"Feedback from funding rural community projects has told us that many require support, guidance and capacity building in an inspiring and engaging way."

The Village SOS community should be a place where project teams can congregate, gain advice, talk and share ideas; ultimately gaining the knowledge to develop their plans, said Mr Ainsworth.

"This is an exciting opportunity for the right organisation – or group of organisations - to promote social enterprise as an engine of rural development."

Village SOS, which featured in its own primetime BBC television show, has to date awarded over £10 million in funding to 161 innovative village community projects.

The online community has a membership representing over 4,000 villages across the UK, connecting people to the advice, support and guidance they need.

The new campaign will commence in April 2014 for a period of up to 24 months, with a potential maximum of up to £1.49 million.

For details and an invitation to tender, click here. The deadline for submissions is 12.00 (noon) on 17 February 2014.

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