Prince’s Fund reopens for rural project grant applications

The latest round of The Prince’s Countryside Fund grant scheme is open, with grants of up to £50,000 available for rural community projects.

In total, £300,000 will be available in the spring round of funding.

Organisers say they are particularly keen to hear from community projects in the north-east of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but all eligible applications will be considered.

See also: Prince’s fund awards £400,000 to rural projects

The fund aims to support projects that sustain rural communities, improves the resilience and viability of farms and rural businesses or help out in emergency situations.

The last round of funding saw £240,000 shared between eight rural community projects.

Scheme basics

The Prince’s Countryside Fund is open for grant applications until 21 February 2019.

It gives out grants of up to £50,000 twice a year and can support projects for up to three years.

Grants of up to £25,000 are available to support community shop and pub projects in rural areas, or grants of up to £50,000 are available for projects that improve the prospects or viability for family farm businesses or support building resilience in rural areas.

Applications must come from charities, local organisations or NGOs – the scheme is not available to private farm businesses or individuals.

Applications must be made on the Prince’s Countryside Fund website.

The fund also separately provides support for individual farm businesses through its Farm Resilience Programme.

Accredited training

Radnor Federation of Young Farmer’s Clubs was awarded £40,000 so it can provide training and skills development for young people who earn their living through agriculture or who would like to develop a career in agriculture.

The federation will run a three-year scheme that will include a bursary for up to 40 young people to be spent on accredited training.

Funding will also go towards staffing costs to run the project.

Meanwhile, the Southern Regional College in Northern Ireland has been awarded £48,000 to provide accredited training to 30 people in rural areas from both farming and non-farming backgrounds.

Claire Saunders, director of The Prince’s Countryside Fund, said: “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 £1m in funding each year and are very keen to hear from projects of all types in our rural areas.”