The Prince’s Countryside Fund (PCF) was established as a response to concerns expressed by HRH The Prince of Wales and by Business in the Community’s Rural Action Leadership Team regarding the future of farming and rural communities in the United Kingdom. Given these origins, The Prince’s Countryside Fund operates in accordance with the vision of HRH The Prince of Wales which is to help improve the sustainability of British farming and the rural communities that support, and are supported by, farming in the UK.
Supporting its mission to strengthen farm and rural communities and promote the value of the countryside, the three goals of the charity are:
1. To improve the prospects of viability for family farm businesses.
2. To support aid delivery in emergencies and build resilience, and
3. To sustain rural communities and drive economic vibrancy.
The Supporting Rural Communities Programme is available to smaller, community-led projects. The funding forms part of a new programme of larger, flexible grants which focus on innovative and longer-term projects which support people in rural areas to resolve existing and emerging community issues, circumstances and priorities.
The Prince’s Countryside Fund is specifically looking for applications from community-led projects that are pursuing innovative and strategic solutions to the challenges facing their rural area and which will improve the long-term viability and resilience of their community, and can be replicated in other rural communities.
The outcomes the Fund seeks to achieve through the Supporting Rural Communities programme include:
o Creating a legacy of support and community spirit.
o Developing successful models of community support that can be promulgated widely.
o Improving the health and well-being of socially isolated people, and
o Reinvigoration of community networks.
Grants up to £25,000 are available over two years for innovative projects that will create a long-term difference in remote rural areas of the UK. Projects must be completed by Sunday 31 March 2024.
Applications are encouraged from properly constituted, community-led organisations with an annual turnover of under £500,000 that can demonstrate how beneficiaries will be drawn directly from the local rural community.
A number of case studies of previously funded projects are available on the Prince’s Community Fund webpages.
Although the Fund is particularly interested in applications from East Anglia, the North East, Wales and Northern Ireland, it will provide grants for projects across the UK.
Applicants to the Supporting Rural Communities programme will be required to demonstrate how their project meets one or more of the following priorities:
o Creating a rural community fit for the future.
o Improving the economic or social resilience of a UK rural community, and/or
o Reducing isolation for people living in rural areas through improving service provision
The following types of organisation are not eligible to apply for funding (please not this is not an exclusive list – contact the PCF for details of further exclusions):
o Care Farms, Community Farms, or similar projects where the beneficiaries are drawn from a larger area than just the local community.
o Hospitals and Schools.
o Local Authorities, including Town and Parish Councils, and
o Private companies and individuals.
The Princes Countryside Fund is holding a series of PCF grant application surgeries between Monday 9 August and Wednesday 15 September 2021. Surgeries will run from 2-3pm on every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, with 15-minute appointments. Surgery appointments can be booked by emailing grants(at)countrysidefund.org.uk.
Further information, guidance and details about how to apply using the online application form (which can be saved and returned to later), go to the PCF website.
The deadline for applications is Friday 17 September 2021.