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How PCF funding could help projects that support the Dorset countryside

PUBLISHED: 15:17 04 November 2014 | UPDATED: 15:17 04 November 2014

Dorset school pupils on a Farming and Countryside Education visit to Melbury

Dorset school pupils on a Farming and Countryside Education visit to Melbury

Archant

If you have a business or project that supports the Dorset countryside, farming or rural communities, you could get funding from The Prince’s Countryside Fund

Are you helping to provide valuable services to rural communities? Do you give business support to help rural enterprises start up or grow? Are you training the farmers of the future?

Organisations and charities that are helping to protect and sustain Britain’s farming and rural communities can apply for much needed funding of up to £50,000 from The Prince’s Countryside Fund (PCF), which opened for grant applications in September.

PCD, which strives to secure a sustainable future for the British countryside, is looking to invest up to £600,000 in worthwhile rural initiatives in this application round. Rural

Since its inception in 2010, the charity has given £4.4 million in grants distributed to over 105 projects across the country, directly benefitting 80,000 people.

The Fund is also launching new criteria for assessing applications, meaning projects which weren’t previously eligible for funding may now be able to apply.

It is hoped that this new criteria will also enable a greater range of organisations and projects from across the country to apply for funding.

Projects will be considered on one of three key countryside issues:

Thriving Rural Communities - projects that provide innovative solutions to deliver assets and services that keep rural communities together and develop a more sustainable rural economy, for example: empowering communities to provide village services or create business hubs and employment for local people.

Rural Livelihoods - projects that focus on developing stronger, more sustainable farming and rural enterprises, with the aim of halting the decline of the rural economy. For example: providing rural businesses with support and advice or supporting farmer led initiatives.

Farmers of the future - projects that help improve skills and increase opportunities of taking up rural careers, in particular in farming, with the aim of remaining within and contributing to the rural economy. For example: training opportunities and apprenticeship schemes, inspiring and enabling new entrants to consider a career in farming.

Helen Aldis, who is manager of The Prince’s Countryside Fund, outlined the key points to bear in mind when applying.

“We are looking for projects that will have a long term positive effect on rural communities and enterprise, helping the people who care for our countryside and make it tick. “This funding will give much needed support to the remarkable people working to sustain a vibrant rural economy.”

How to apply

The Prince’s Countryside Fund is open for applications until 24 October 2014 at 5pm. To find out more about the assessment criteria, the people The Prince’s Countryside Fund has helped, or to learn more about what the countryside does for you visit princescountrysidefund.org.uk.

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About The Prince’s Countryside Fund

The Prince’s Countryside Fund was founded by HRH The Prince of Wales, who has a long-held commitment to supporting Britain’s hard pressed rural areas. It was set up by Business in the Community in July 2010. The Prince’s Countryside Fund has given grants to support 140 rural communities by improving service provision, 3,400 farm businesses through funding projects that work directly with farmers to improve efficiency and profitability and 880 rural enterprises through supporting innovative rural business projects. These range from apprenticeships for budding hill farmers and projects to teaching school children about where their food comes from to community transport schemes. The Fund also operates an emergency fund for times of need.

The public can make a donation online at Virgin Giving at the Post Office or by text. Text PCF to 70300 and a £3 donation will be made to The Prince’s Countryside Fund.

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