A look back at our achievements in 2019

January 2, 2020

As we enter a new decade, here at the Fund we wanted to take a moment to look back at our achievements in 2019

Grant funding awarded to 26 projects

Nearly half a million pounds of grant funding was awarded to 26 grassroots, community-led projects across the UK. 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. Keep an eye on our website and social media channels for when our 2020 grants round is opening.

Emergency Funding

We released £50,000 from our Emergency Fund to help farmers and rural communities affected by the flooding in Reeth and Arkengarthdale, North Yorkshire, and in October the Dry Stone Walling Association in conjunction with the Fund held a highly successful ‘Wallathon’ in Reeth, to help rebuild some of the 3500 metres of dry stone wall that was destroyed in the floods. There are plans for another one in May this year, so look out for updates on this.

The Village Survival Guide

Our latest piece of research, launched in National Countryside Week, the Village Survival Guide had an incredible reception with UK-wide coverage, and even requests for copies from the USA and Slovenia! The guide is intended to help those living in the countryside to utilise the talents available in their own communities to tackle some of the social and economic challenges they face. The colourful guide is an entertaining collection of case histories, checklists and practical advice.

The Prince’s Farm Resilience Programme

Year 4 of the Programme has had 254 farmers signed up, bringing the total number of farmers through the highly successful Programme to 960. Most of the Year 4 groups are underway with their welcome meetings and first workshops, and we’re busy planning for year five of the programme in September!

Alan, a farmer from Cumbria, who took part last year said: “The Programme is helping us to achieve our goals of farming full time and growing our business – we’re learning all the time, future proofing ourselves. this is a time of huge uncertainty, so we need to listen to others and take as much help as we can get.

“I’d definitely recommend taking part. If you’re prepared to move forward, it’s the perfect opportunity. We’re all going to have to get better and smarter with our farms.”