Prince's fund donates £670k to rural communities

A fund founded by Prince Charles has unveiled £670,000 in grant support for rural initiatives.

The Prince's Countryside Fund said the money would support 19 projects across the UK through its grant giving programme.

The fund has awarded over £8 million since it was established in 2010 to improve the prospects of family farm businesses and the quality of rural life.

New projects include funding to assist rural communities in Devon, Cumbria Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Cornwall and Norfolk.

    See also: Prince's fund unveils £600k rural pot

Grants have also been awarded to train the next generation of forestry and woodland managers in Scotland and Wales and to support Scottish island processing enterprises.

Fund chairman Lord Curry of Kirkharle said "We are delighted to be able to support such a wide range of innovative projects that will provide a lasting legacy in so many rural areas.

"The next five years are critical for our rural communities.

"Against a background of growing uncertainty, our grant programme provides essential support to people living and working in the countryside.

Beneficiaries include the Farming Life Centre, which supports rural communities in the Peak District. It was awarded £13,146.50.

In Cumbria, the Patterdale Parish Community Flood Group received £25,000. Meanwhile, a project to help hill farming communities in Dartmoor received £44,000.

Community projects included Llangunllo Community Hall in Wales, which received £5,000; and Alfrick and Lulsley Community Shop in the West Midlands, which received £27,000.

Herefordshire Rural Hub, which supports farming and rural businesses in Herefordshire, received £46,680.

With an ageing rural population and a shortage of new entrants embarking on rural careers, Lord Curry said support for rural communities needed to be prioritised.

It was easy to forget the importance of rural businesses and family farms, he said.

Lord Curry added: "It is vital that we continue to support grassroots initiatives to ensure we maintain a thriving and sustainable future for our rural communities."


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