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£725,000 of new funding available for vital rural initiatives

The Prince's Countryside fund has announced a brand new grant funding initiative for businesses, charities and community organisations with plans to tackle key rural issues.

Pressure on our rural communities and people living and working in our countryside continues to mount. Farm businesses are struggling from a major downturn in the price of milk, lamb and cereals, our village shops, pubs and services continue to disappear and more support is needed to help younger people into farming and other rural careers.


To help support inspiring rural initiatives that tackle these issues The Prince’s Countryside Fund has announced a valuable lifeline for our rural communities with £725,000 of grant funding.


Organisations and charities that are helping to protect and sustain Britain’s farming and rural communities can apply for much needed funding of up to £50,000 from The Prince’s Countryside Fund, which opens online for grant applications on Monday 7 September.


The Prince’s Countryside Fund, which celebrated its fifth anniversary this July, strives to secure a sustainable future for the British countryside. Since its inception in 2010, the charity has given £6 million in grants, distributed to 135 projects across the country, directly benefitting 160,000 people.


Claire Saunders, Director of The Prince’s Countryside Fund, said; “Rural and farming communities are under immense pressure at the moment. We are looking for projects which will have a long-term positive impact to help sustain our rural areas and encourage enterprise that will help the people who care for our countryside and make it tick.


“Britain’s environment, security and prosperity depends on our countryside. Three quarters of British land is farmed, and agriculture is central to our landscape. It is crucial that we protect this priceless national asset and provide funding that supports the remarkable people working to create and sustain a vibrant rural economy.”


Projects will be considered on their contribution to one of three key countryside issues:


1.Thriving Rural Communities - projects that provide innovative solutions to deliver assets and services that keep rural communities together and develop a more sustainable rural economy i.e. empowering communities to provide village services or create business hubs and employment for local people.


2.Rural Livelihoods - projects that focus on developing stronger, more sustainable farm and rural enterprises with the aim of halting the decline of the rural economy ie providing rural businesses with support and advice or supporting farmer led initiatives.


3.Farmers of the Future - projects that help improve skills and increase opportunities of taking up rural careers, in particular in farming, with the aim of helping people to remain within and contribute to the rural economy ie training opportunities and apprenticeship schemes that inspire and enable new entrants to consider a career in farming.


The Prince’s Countryside Fund opens for grant applications on Monday 7 September until 5.00pm on Thursday 8 October 2015. Any applications received after this time will not be considered.

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