Monday, 03 February 2014 14:24

Prince's fund invests £575k in rural projects

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Prince's fund invests £575k in rural projects

The Prince's Countryside Fund has announced a £575,000 investment in 12 rural projects across the UK.

The latest round of funding follows £3.3million in grants from the charity over the last three years.

Funding is being allocated to projects and organisations which address five key issues facing rural Britain.

Those issues are low farming incomes, rural isolation, lack of access to training, decline of rural communities and disconnect with the countryside.

* £50,000 to the Kindling Trust to fund an incubator farm project 'Farm Start Manchester' which will help to create a more sustainable and fairer food system in the North West by establishing 10 new 'Farm Start' businesses and providing a comprehensive training programme benefitting 90 people

* £150,000 to FACE will educate 9,000 children from 150 schools about food and farming in a sustainable countryside through farm visits and school based learning, such as growing and cooking fresh produce

* 250 farmers in Exmoor (Devon and Somerset) will benefit from knowledge transfer, training and establishing peer support groups, to help improve the viability and efficiency of Exmoor Farming businesses

* £45,898 will develop the skills of 12 young hill farmers in Cumbria and the Yorkshire Dales and fund the creation of a web based labour directory to enable the beneficiaries to market their skills to farmers.

Victoria Elms, Prince's Countryside Fund manager, said: "These grants will support the people, organisations and communities working tirelessly to preserve and ensure the long term sustainability of British farming, agriculture and the wider rural economy.

"With the help of our admirable supporting companies, it's a great achievement for the Prince's Countryside Fund to be able to support so many excellent projects which collectively will benefit over 64,000 people."

Since 2010, The Prince's Countryside Fund has given grants to support 127 rural communities by improving service provision.

Beneficiaries include 3,006 farm businesses through funding projects that work directly with farmers to improve efficiency and profitability and 792 rural enterprises through supporting innovative rural business projects.

Some 2,492 young people have benefitted from projects offering training opportunities and 18,000 children will be educated in food and farming in a sustainable countryside.

For details, visit the Prince's Countryside Fund website.

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