Sunday, 03 July 2016 20:03

Prince's fund unveils £550k in grants

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Prince's fund unveils £550k in grants

The Prince's Countryside Fund has unveiled grants worth more than £550,000 for rural communities.

In total, £551,738 will be used to help fund projects that tackle rural isolation, declining skills and digital exclusion.

Some 20 diverse rural projects across the UK will receive the money.

The fund says it will help secure a bright future for the countryside, through training opportunities, support networks, counselling and new social enterprise projects.

Established by the Prince of Wales in 2010, the Prince's Countryside Fund exists to improve the prospects of family farm businesses and the quality of rural life.

To date, the charity has distributed over £6.7 million in grants and emergency funding directly benefiting more than 210,000 people who live and work in rural areas.

The fund estimates that one in five farm businesses are in significant financial difficulties.

It says an average of 200 village shops close each year, 1m rural people have no access to the internet and many communities continue to suffer in the aftermath of last winter's floods.

Newly funded projects address a far-reaching spectrum of rural issues – including declining countryside industries, rural vocations for youngsters and isolated rural communities.

Fund director Claire Saunders said: "We received an overwhelming amount of applications for funding – testament to the ceaseless trials our rural communities face."

She added: "Rural infrastructure continues to be chipped away, with crippling consequences for isolated villages and towns."

The full list of projects supported is:

* Penistone Young Farmers £18,612 for two years (Yorkshire and the Humber)
* Soil Association £25,000 (UK-wide)
* Duchy College £50,000 for two years (South West)
* Scottish Crofting Federation £20,732.32 (Scotland)
* Grimsby Institute for Further and Higher Education (GIFHE) £24,838 (East Midlands)
* Cosmic £48,263.29 (South West
* Tinder Foundation £40,000 (East Midlands)
* FarmCornwall CIC £19,280 (South West)
* Growing Rural Enterprise Ltd £25,000
* Broads Reed & Sedge Cutters Association (Brasca)
* Devon Federation of Young Farmers Clubs £21,600 (South West)
* South Tynedale Railway Preservation Society £20,000 (North East)
* Marchington Community Shop £28,690.00 (East Midlands)
* Border Rambler Rural Transport Services CIC £1,078.00 (North West)
* Preseli Rural Transport Association Limited £30,000 (Wales)
* Bakewell and Eyam Community Transport £19,080 (East Midlands)
* Northern Fells Rural Community Development Group £45,000 (North West)
* Llandegla Community Shop Ltd £25,000 (Wales)
* ACTion with Communities in Cumbria £15,046 for three years (North West)

Ms Saunders said: "We give grants to enable practical action on the ground, and we look forward to working with our inspiring new projects to achieve this."

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