11 rural community projects boosted with over £200,000

July 20, 2023

Through our Supporting Rural Communities grants programme, The Royal Countryside Fund will be awarding 11 rural communities across the UK with grants of up to £25,000 over two years.

One of the community organisations receiving funding; The Blackmore Vale Charity – The Vale Pantry project in Dorset.

At The Royal Countryside Fund, our vision is for rural communities to achieve their own solutions to build the social infrastructure and local services they need. Too often, rural communities are without access to transport, jobs, and community spaces, increasing isolation and mental health issues.

As a charity, we seek to help those who live and work in rural communities across the UK to achieve their own solutions to the issues they face.  Whether its developing environmental initiatives such as reducing food waste, providing skills training to improve employment opportunities for young people, or creating accessible community spaces, the community commitment behind each project means that thousands of people will directly benefit from the RCF’s support in a way that is meaningful to them and their communities. Since being founded in 2010, The Royal Countryside Fund has invested more than £11.2 million in over 480 rural community-led projects.

One project which has been recognised for its sustainability values and the impact the project will have on the community is Eigg Tree Nursery. Rebecca Long, IEHT Development Manager for Isle of Eigg, says “The funding will enable Eigg’s Tree Nursery to become a self-sustaining community enterprise. Supporting local enterprise and employment, the Tree Nursery helps sustain native species, producing and protecting much more biodiverse woodlands and habitats. This helps protect Eigg’s future ecology and expands the island’s circular economy, all while we work towards carbon net zero.”

Keith Halstead, Executive Director of The Royal Countryside Fund says: “Living in rural Britain has significant challenges – we hear first-hand how isolation and a lack of local services and facilities are detrimental to the quality of rural life. Countryside communities need practical and grounded support in responding to these challenges, to build themselves a secure and sustainable future.

Our investment in rural communities enables those who live and work in villages and the countryside across the UK to succeed as we fund their solutions to local issues.

I would like to thank our partners and supporters, particularly the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery and Waitrose & Partners, as their help is vital to the success of our Supporting Rural Communities grant programme.”

A total of £202,820 was awarded in this round to the following 11 rural projects:

  • Isle of Eigg Heritage Trust, Highlands, £25,000
  • Hoo Peninsula Cares (wHoo Cares), Kent, £18,000
  • The Blackmore Vale Charity, The Vale Pantry, Dorset, £10,400
  • Boleskine Community Care (BCC), Highlands, £25,000
  • Comunn Eachdraidh Nis, Western Isles, £25,000
  • Chopwell Regeneration CIO, Tyne and Wear, £25,000
  • Countryside Learning Scotland, Perth and Kinross, £12,500
  • North Norfolk Community Transport, Norfolk, £20,000
  • Hour Community, Suffolk, £13,500
  • BCW Training Ltd, Antrim, £12,370
  • Wingfield Barns CIC, Suffolk, £16,050

Our autumn grant round will be open for applications on Friday 8th September 2023.

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