Prince's fund unveils £600k rural pot

The Prince's Countryside Fund has announced a grant funding pot of over £600,000 to support vital rural initiatives.

Founded by the Prince of Wales six years ago, the fund aims to improve the prospects of family farm businesses and the quality of rural life across the UK.

Rural enterprise projects across the UK are invited to apply or a grant of up to £50,000 under the latest round of funding.

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Applications are encouraged from projects that enhance community services, provide training opportunities for young and unemployed people and those that focus on developing stronger, more sustainable farm businesses.

As part of its vital role in responding to countryside crises, the fund is also opening up specific funds to help support the winter flood recovery.

Organisations that are supporting farmers, rural businesses and communities following the severe storms in December 2015 can also apply.

They include groups workng with flood-hit communities across Cumbria, Lancashire, Herefordshire, Northumberland and North Yorkshire, Scotland and parts of Northern Ireland.

Reflecting the growing need in rural communities, the fund released its greatest number of grants to date earlier this year with 21 projects funded.

Since being founded by HRH The Prince of Wales in 2010, the fund provides more than £1.3m each year to projects across the UK.

To date, it has distributed over £7m to 182 projects across the UK, helping more than 200,000 people.

Fund grant manager Clare Crookenden said: "Since 2010 our grant programme has provided a vital boost to people and grassroot organisations who are working hard to protect and enhance the countryside.

"We've been able to support innovative and diverse projects, ranging from inspiring young people to develop their skills and pursue a rural career to strengthening rural businesses who have been hit hard in recent years.

"Our grant programme has been made to available to help improve the lives of people living and working in the countryside.

"Community shops, libraries and pubs and the people that support them add vibrancy and strength to rural communities and we are committed to help.

"Action is needed to give rural communities the chance to provide the vital services that they rely on and to ensure all of us benefit from retaining a vibrant countryside."

Applicants should click here to check their eligibility and found out how to apply. Submissions open on Monday 19 September and close on Thursday 13 October.


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