Prince's rural fund opens for applications

The Prince’s Countryside Fund is now open for applications to support community led groups and projects in rural areas around the UK.

Applications are encouraged from community groups and charities to apply for grants of up to £50,000 from the fund until June 14th 2018.

The fund is committed to supporting projects which will reinvigorate and sustain community networks, by providing services and amenities.

Since the Fund was set up by HRH The Prince of Wales in 2010 it has distributed more than £9 million to communities across the UK.

Past beneficiaries include the community-run Beckbury Shop in Shtropshire, which was supported by the Fund in 2017.

Local resident Inez, who volunteers twice a week for the shop, said it was the "best thing I’ve ever done – it’s given me a new sense of get up and go” after being housebound for several years following two operations.

Fund director Claire Saunders said: “This is a critical time for people and businesses in our rural areas, and we are seeking applicants for our grant programme who can help to ensure that their rural communities can thrive now and in the future.

“We want to hear from innovative and creative community led projects that are responding to local needs and would urge people to consider applying.

The fund aims to enhance the prospects of family farm businesses and the quality of rural life.

Ms Saunders said: “Whether this is bringing new life to your village shop and pub, increasing access to rural employment and training, or bringing together farming communities, we would love to hear from you.”

Funding is also available for projects that will improve the prospects of viability for family farm businesses, for example by providing training or education schemes.

Jen Andrews from Newquay Community Orchard said: “Our grant from The Prince’s Countryside Fund has enabled us to do so much.

“We have helped to foster an interest in rural skills to bridge the ever-widening gap in the understanding of the care, attention and sheer effort that our food producers put into creating our food.

“We also wanted to inspire careers in the rural sector and have been training disengaged young people in Practical Outdoors and Employability skills - we hope to see more young people getting into the rural sector, it has so much to offer!”

To help support and secure the future of the countryside, the fund:

  • Provides more than £1.2m each year in grant funding to projects across the UK thanks to support from partners, events and donations
  • Celebrates and promotes the value of the countryside
  • Leads projects to strengthen farm businesses, such as the Prince’s Farm Resilience Programme
  • Commissions research into issues affecting farming families and rural communities
  • Bring together individuals and businesses to help tackle current challenges
  • Helps communities in crisis through its Emergency Fund
  • Organisations that directly support agriculture, such as the Farmer Network in Cumbria, are also eligible.

The Farmer Network has run schemes to encourage young people to develop farming enterprises, through their Business Support For Young People programme, as well as providing ongoing assistance to farming families.

The Fund’s grant giving helps to support a diverse range of projects, often delivered locally by grassroots organisations and community groups.

It is particularly keen to receive applications from Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.

Grant applications can be made from 30 April to 14 June 2018.

For more details – including full eligibility criteria  and guidance, visit or email


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