Rural communities receive a helping hand from The Prince’s Countryside Fund

In June, the Prince’s Countryside Fund has awarded half a million pounds of grant funding to 26 grassroots, community-led projects across the UK, which will benefit people living and working in rural areas.

The Prince’s Countryside Fund awards grants to local organisations, and since 2010 has distributed over £10 million. The Fund’s mission is to help ensure a vibrant rural economy with a thriving and resilient farming sector at its heart, and its grant programme is a major focus of activity to achieve this.

The broad range of successful projects will create locally-delivered solutions to the ever-pressing challenges facing rural communities – from farmer mental health support in Wales, to rural skills training in the north east, and the creation of rural hubs in Northern Ireland.

The Rural Four programme supported 13 of these projects with thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery. Rural Four aims to tackle isolation in rural areas and is funding projects including social hubs in Norfolk and rural transport schemes in Northamptonshire. It is helping rural communities in Norfolk and Cheshire to improve their digital connectivity by installing high speed broadband in a central hub, which is open to all, and to provide digital skills training in Lincolnshire.

Announcing the grant recipients, Claire Saunders, Director of The Prince’s Countryside Fund said: “It is great to see so many organisations coming up with unique ways to combat the challenges that are facing rural communities and to know these projects are key to making a difference. From funding a community brewery in East Anglia, to a mentoring and land access programme for young entrants to agriculture in Northern Ireland – The Prince’s Countryside Fund is committed to improving the quality of life, in all aspects, for all people living and working in our great British countryside.

“This has been our most competitive round of grant applications in Fund history, with nearly 300 applications requesting £10 million of funding. The applications were all of a very high standard and we are delighted to be working with the 26 successful beneficiaries.”

The Fund will be open again for grant applications in January 2020. 

Grants were awarded to the following projects:

Barnard Castle Farmers Market, North Yorkshire
BLS Community Trust, Perthshire, Scotland
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), Surrey
Durham Wildlife Trust, Durham
Dry Stone Walling Association, Yorkshire
Groundwork South, Middlesex
Just Farmers, UK wide
National Hedgelaying Society, Lancashire
Plunkett Foundation, England
The Courthouse Kesh Limited, Fermanagh, Northern Ireland
Tir Dewi, North Wales
Young Farmers Clubs of Ulster, Northern Ireland
YANA, Norfolk

The following are supported by our Rural Four programme:

Barton Bendish Village Hall, Norfolk
Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival, Northumberland
Citizens Advice County Durham, County Durham
Daventry Area Community Transport, Northamptonshire
Fenland Association for Community Transport , Cambridgeshire
Great Barrow Community Shop, Cheshire
KPT Development Trust, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland
Lincs Digital, Lincolnshire
Pumphouse Community Brewery, Essex
Settle Community and Business Hub, North Yorkshire
The Thorold Arms Community Benefit Society, Lincolnshire
The Borrowdale Institute, Cumbria
Yorkshire Rural Support Network, Yorkshire

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