March 3, 2022
Do you have a vision for your village? The Prince’s Countryside Fund grants programme could make it happen.
The Prince’s Countryside Fund (PCF) is inviting applications for grants of up to £25,000 over two years for projects that benefit people in rural communities in the UK.
The PCF’s grant programme aims to empower rural communities by funding community-led solutions that improve their viability and resilience. The direct impact that these projects have on the lives of those that live and work in the countryside is why the PCF is committed to investing £500,000 in grants each year. This funding will contribute to the long-term sustainability of hamlets, villages, and small market towns.
Recent grant recipients include Grizedale Arts in Cumbria who are running events and workshops and for their local community; the Rural Health Partnership who are supporting women in farming in Northern Ireland; and Tir Coed who are providing training for disadvantaged people in Wales.
Keith Halstead, Executive Director of The Prince’s Countryside Fund said: “The PCF wants to help projects which will make a real difference to rural communities, addressing issues which local people have identified and funding community-led solutions. We know from our experience that the rural projects we support build cohesion, neighbourliness and a sense of belonging, which are vital ingredients in ensuring sustainable and resilient communities. I would like to add my thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery for their continued support of the PCF’s work in creating a real future for rural Britain.”
The Seil Island Community Hall project in Scotland was awarded £7,360 in August 2021. The community hall provides a location for residents to meet and socialise. The establishment of a community cinema as the central hub within the hall will bring together the residents of the rural, dispersed communities of Slate Islands.
Rachel Tierney, Co-opted Committee Member said: “The workshops and cinema screenings will give children the opportunity to come together with friends and family, developing social cohesion and a sense of community as they work together to create something to be enjoyed by all, reducing loneliness and improving the mental health of the community.”
The PCF will consider applications for village hall and other community asset renovation projects, however applicants will need to clearly demonstrate why the project is needed, that there is no similar provision provided by other assets in the area, and that there is demand from the local community to have this work done. The evidence required here must be from the wider community and not just from the applicant themselves.
Grizedale Arts received £24,000 from The Prince’s Countryside Fund to improve the wellbeing and resilience of the Crake Valley community by engaging people in creativity led projects that provide skills training, employment opportunities and income. The Farmer’s Arms will remain a pub with accommodation, but it will also have workshop and meeting spaces, pop-up shops, a museum, community arts centre, and provide courses and training for local people, including working with textiles, furniture, pottery, and food and drink.
Emma Sumner, Valley Project Manager at Grizedale Arts said: “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to save an historic building and retain it as a community hub. The Crake Valley has many innovative rural businesses, alongside celebrated visitor attractions, and The Farmer’s Arms will help in the area’s recovery period. Employment is a key issue and we believe The Farmer’s Arms will act as a gateway to not only the wonders of the valley, but also the world of work and enterprise, innovation and diversification.”
The PCF is open to applications from communities across the UK, and is particularly encouraging applications from East Anglia, the North East, Wales and Northern Ireland. Applications will be accepted until midday on Tuesday 12th April 2022.
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