Rural start-up fund opens for applications

A £5,000 fund has been launched to offer support to entrepreneurs planning to launch a start-up business in the countryside.

The Rural Start-Up Fund is a partnership between The Prince’s Countryside Fund and Forest Holidays, which is in partnership with forestry agencies in England, Scotland and Wales and offers cabin accommodation in national forests.

The cash will be available to applicants across the UK in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

The funding pot will either be awarded to one winning business or shared between a number of rural start-ups.

See also: £35m fund to help farmers diversify

In addition to the money, the winners will be offered mentoring support from a relevant member of the Forest Holidays team for 12 months.

Applicants must be 18 and over and embarking on setting up a business venture that can be classed as ‘rural’.

As part of their application they will need to demonstrate how their business will, in some manner, support rural communities, promote conservation of the countryside, or support rural sustainability.

Applications close on Friday 6 March 2020.

Shortlisted applicants will be asked to produce a formal business case by late April and may be required to pitch their plans to a judging panel on 6 May.

Find out more and apply on the Prince’s Countryside Fund website. 

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