Investing in the countryside
PUBLISHED: 09:00 26 April 2014
The Prince’s Countryside Fund announces investment of £575,000 in projects supporting the British countryside
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The Prince’s Countryside Fund, a charity which strives to secure a sustainable future for the British countryside and wider rural economy, has announced an investment of more than £575,000 in 12 valuable rural projects across the UK.
Having already contributed £3.3million in grants in the three years since its inception, the latest round of funding from The Prince’s Countryside Fund is being allocated to projects and organisations, which address five key issues facing rural Britain; low farming incomes, rural isolation, lack of access to training, decline of rural communities and disconnect with the countryside. Two of the projects receiving help are included here. Victoria Elms, Manager at The Prince’s Countryside Fund, explains: “With the help of our admirable supporting companies, it’s a great achievement for The Prince’s Countryside Fund to be able to support so many excellent projects which collectively will benefit more than 64,000 people
“The countryside is one our greatest assets, with 70 per cent of our drinking water coming from the UK’s upland areas and 60 per cent of the UK’s food being grown domestically. In the next 50 years we will have to produce more food than we have in the past 10,000 and we hope that educating children in sustainable food and drink production, giving young people the skills and training needed to continue rural careers and investing in the viability of farm businesses will go a long way to achieving that.”
Since 2010, The Prince’s Countryside Fund has given grants to support 127 rural communities by improving service provision, 3,006 farm businesses through funding projects that work directly with farmers to improve efficiency and profitability and 792 rural enterprises through supporting innovative rural business projects.
A total of 2,492 young people have benefitted from projects offering training opportunities and 18,000 children will be educated in food and farming in a sustainable countryside.
Where the grants go:
Fresh Start (Addresses: Lack of access to training) £50,000
Fresh Start was set up in 2004 to help find ways for new entrants to start up business in land-based sectors and successfully developed and trialled specialist pig, dairy and upland academies with great results. The grant will allow them to deliver a further two dairy academies, four upland academies, two pig academies and the development of two more sector specific academies such as lowland beef and sheep farming and commercial horticulture. In total, between 198 and 280 people will benefit.
FACE (Addresses: Disconnect with the countryside) £150,000
The aim of FACE is to educate children and young people about food and farming in a sustainable countryside. Representing 13,250 teachers and 129 farmers it is a nationwide charity. FACE has been awarded an additional grant of £150,000 over a two-year period to extend the ‘Countryside Matters’ programme, through farm visits or school-based activity such as growing or cooking fresh food. In total 150 schools and 9,000 young people in areas of economic disadvantage will benefit.