Got some plans that need funding? The Prince's Countryside Fund is open to grant applications from country pubs and other rural businesses from tomorrow (January 9).

The fund gives out grants twice a year and projects can apply for funds of up to £50,000 from a total pot of £1m over the year. Projects can be supported for up to three years.

The fund was set up in 2010 by HRH The Prince of Wales, who recently visited the Fleece Inn at Hillesley, Gloucestershire, as part of his role with Pub is The Hub.

The aim is for the fund to sustain rural communities; improve the viability of rural businesses, and support emergency aid following natural disasters such as floods and animal disease (more details below).

PrincesCountrysideFundLogo"The 550 projects put forward to our Recharging Rural research last summer demonstrated the extraordinary breadth of ideas that communities use to build their resilience, many of which are grant can support," said Claire Saunders, the fund's director.

"Our grants help to support a diverse range of projects often delivered by local organisations, such as training vouchers for young farmers, equipment for local abattoirs, overheads and staffing costs for farmer led networks, village shops and pubs, and development schemes for rural businesses.

"We give out more than £1 million in funding each year and are very keen to hear from projects of all types in our rural areas."

In this Spring 2019 round of applications the fund is particularly keen to hear from projects in the north east of England, and from all parts of rural Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. However, all projects that meet the eligibility criteria will be considered, said Claire.

 

 

The Fund aims to support projects that achieve the following:

Sustaining Rural Communities

Projects that deliver sustainable rural assets, businesses, and services that keep isolated communities together and develop a more sustainable rural economy, or provide advice and new skills and business training that benefit the local economy

 

Improving the prospects of viability for farm and rural businesses

Projects that focus on developing stronger, more sustainable farm businesses and other rural enterprises with the aim of halting the decline of the rural economy, or that encourage local food production and short supply chains, that facilitate knowledge transfer such as farmer networks, or that provide new skills and training for rural and agricultural benefit.

 

Supporting Aid Delivery in Emergency and Building Resilience

Projects that support farm businesses, rural businesses and communities to plan for and recover from natural disasters such as flooding or animal disease and build resilience.