Project Village Survival

Project Village Survival

In 2017, The Prince’s Countryside Fund began to deliver the ‘Rural Four’ project in partnership with players of People’s Postcode Lottery.  Since then, the Fund has funded 34 projects, committing almost £700,000 to their delivery as a result of the Postcode Lottery's contribution.

The Village Survival Guide

Providing accessible and good quality services to rural communities poses challenges given the lost economies of scale, geography of rural, additional travel and the delivery costs involved which often leads to less funding investment (State of Rural Services, Rural England CIC, 2018). The Fund remains one of very few funders focused on rural communities and our experience in partnership with others, such as the People’s Postcode Lottery, has demonstrated this prioritisation can secure investment in areas which may otherwise be considered less value for money, therefore providing a lifeline for those who live and work in these areas. 

The Fund published The Village Survival Guide in summer 2019 – a practical and vibrant manual for rural communities, filled with success stories from those who have pulled together to overcome challenges and ensure their village thrive. 

Funding Priorities 

The players of People’s Postcode Lottery will support the Fund to build on the findings of the Village Survival Guide in 2020 through a contribution to the Fund’s grant programme supporting community projects across Britain (excluding Northern Ireland) that address at least one of the five key themes highlighted within the guide:

  • Community Assets and Enterprise
  • Rural Housing
  • Rural Transport
  • Digital Infrastructure and Connections
  • Rural Community Resilience in Emergencies

Most of the contribution will be directed to supporting the first of these areas – community shops, pubs and other rural hub types.  As the budget for the final four priorities is limited, before beginning an application under any of these priorities please have a discussion with our grants team. 

The rural projects supported must address the shortage of services in their communities, ensuring their village’s future viability and 'thrivability'.

The projects funded will:

  • Reinvigorate community networks
  • Establish or secure the sustainability of community assets
  • Improving the health and well-being of socially isolated people
  • Create a legacy of support and community spirit
  • Inspire other communities to formulate their own projects

As our grant programme to date has awarded funds disproportionately to English communities, particularly the South West, we are prioritising applications from Scotland and Wales in 2020.

As the Fund is a long-term funder of the Plunkett Foundation and Pub is the Hub (support organisations for the community owned enterprise sector), we will be unlikely to fund enterprises who have not yet engaged with the resources and support package offered by these organisations prior to applying to the Fund.

   John from Crowle                                              Annette from Great Paxton


Our Existing Grants Programme

‘Project Village Survival’ is running as part of our existing grant programme and will be subject to the same funding exclusions, follow the same process and request the same information from applicants and successful grantees. 

It is useful to be aware that our wider programme has an additional priority of Sustainability of Farm Businesses and Promotion of Agricultural Skills, which accounts for two thirds of our grantmaking budget.

For the criteria document and further information please visit the Grant Programme page.

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