Sunday, 06 September 2015 16:35

Prince's fund opens for applications

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Prince's fund opens for applications

The Prince's Countryside Fund has opened for applications with £725,000 available to rural communities.

Pressure on rural communities and people living and working in our countryside continued to mount, said the fund.

Village shops, pubs and services were continuing to disappear and farm businesses were struggling from a major downturn, it warned.

Meanwhile, more support was needed to help younger people into farming and other rural careers.

The fund said it was opening to help support inspiring rural initiatives that tackled these issues.

Organisations and charities that are helping to protect and sustain Britain's farming and rural communities can apply for much needed funding of up to £50,000.

The Prince's Countryside Fund opens online for grant applications on Monday, 7 September, until Thursday, 8 October.

Since its inception in 2010, the charity has given £6 million in grants, distributed to 135 projects across the country, directly benefitting 160,000 people.

Fund director Claire Saunders said; "Rural and farming communities are under immense pressure at the moment.

"We are looking for projects which will have a long-term positive impact to help sustain our rural areas and encourage enterprise that will help the people who care for our countryside and make it tick.

"Britain's environment, security and prosperity depends on our countryside."

Ms Saunders said three quarters of British land was farmed, and agriculture was central to the landscape.

"It is crucial that we protect this priceless national asset and provide funding that supports the remarkable people working to create and 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.

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.

3. Farmers of the Future - projects that help improve skills and increase opportunities of taking up rural careers, in particular in farming.

The deadline for grant applications is 5pm on Thursday, 8 October 2015. For details, click here. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

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