Grant assists UK’s farming and rural life

A total of £540,000 worth of funding has been allocated to 18 projects in rural communities throughout the UK.

Awarded by The Prince’s Countryside Fund, the £540k will be distributed to different innovations designed to benefit rural communities in the UK.

The National Sheep Association (NSA) has been awarded £14,700 to help with its research into sustainability and resilience of family farms. “The grant from The Prince’s Trust Countryside Fund will enable progress of an important industry initiative to promote the wide diversity of sheepmeat in the UK,” said NSA chief executive Phil Stocker.

“The work should also help in the survival of four of our most valuable farming assets – the gene pool of our 60 or so native sheep breeds, as well as the traditional farming systems, landscapes and communities which produce them.”

The future generations of the farming industry will also receive funding to help nurture their skills.

Bishop Burton College, Myserscough College and the Scottish Association of Young Farmers’ Clubs all received grants from the Fund.

A spokesperson for Burton College said: “The Farm Management Development Programme, now in its third year, thanks to the generous support of The Prince’s Countryside Fund, offers young people working in the agricultural industry a chance to learn the vital management skills needed to run a profitable farming business.

“Designed by farmers and delivered with industry experts, the course provides a platform not only to upskill tomorrow’s managers, but also a way to inspire young people, and highlight that they are key in shaping the future of farming.”

Projects that will focus on building networks of support for farming communities in Cumbria, the Yorkshire Dales, Upper Teesdale and Cornwall have also been allocated funding. “We are delighted to be providing digital support and mentoring for farmers in our most rural locations of Dartmoor and Exmoor,” said Kate Doodson, joint CEO of digital consultancy Cosmic.

“Through our awarded grant, we will be able to transform farmers’ lives, enabling them to better understand the benefits of digital.”
The Prince’s Countryside Fund was established by HRH The Prince of Wales in 2010 and has since given over £8.5 million in grants to improve the lives of family farm businesses and rural life.

Claire Saunders, director of the Fund, added: “We are thrilled to be able to support so many farming initiatives in this round of funding, alongside the support we offer to rural community-based projects. Our recent report, ‘Who’d be a farmer today?’, highlighted the disconnect that the general public has with farmers and the UK’s rural areas, and our grant programme is providing essential support during what is an uncertain time for people living and working in the countryside.”

Grants have been awarded to the following projects:

Upper Teesdale Agricultural Support Services £30,000
The Farmer Network £34,241
Scottish Association of Young Farmers’ Clubs £29,850
FarmCornwall £49,235
Cosmic £48,312
National Sheep Association £14,700
Uplands Alliance £13,800
Myerscough College £49,520
Bishop Burton College £24,000
Seckford Foundation £30,567
Urban Biodiversity £25,000
Crowle Community Hub and Shop £29,750
Bird in Bush £25,635
Beckbury Community Shop £24,574.95
Great Paxton Community Village Shop £19,870
Pub is the Hub £50,000
Trawden Forest £7,000
Bowland Pennine Mountain Rescue £13,428

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