Three new reports on partnership working between faith and local government.

FUNDING: The Prince’s Countryside Fund

Status: Open to applications

Application Deadline: 13 April 2012


The Fund has been set up to help rural areas in the United Kingdom to become more sustainable.  The focus areas for the Fund are: projects to improve the sustainability of British farming in areas of deprivation; projects to improve the sustainability of rural communities; and projects to reconnect people with the countryside.


Fund Value: £250,000

Maximum Value: £50,000

Minimum Value: £0

Value Notes

Applications for capital, project and resource funding will be considered.

The total amount of funding available in each application round will vary.  Minimum and maximum levels of funding for each funding tranche will be specified in the application documentation.

The total amount of funding available in this round of funding is up to £250,000. The maximum level of funding for individual projects is £50,000. There is no minimum.

Requests for funding up to a maximum of three years will be considered, although extensions will be considered based on results and the current priorities of the Fund.

Funding will be made by means of a single payment except in the case of more substantial grants which may be made in a number of instalments.

Extended Description

The Prince's Countryside Fund has been established to support the sustainability and protection of farms and rural communities throughout the UK. Funding support over a maximum of three years is available for projects that provide significant public benefit and meet the objectives and focus of the Fund.

The objectives of the Fund are:

  • The conservation, protection and improvement of the physical and natural environment in farming and rural areas.

  • The advancement of education in all matters relating to farming and rural areas.

  • The prevention of poverty in farming and rural areas.

  • The promotion of any charitable purposes of benefit to the public, in particular charitable purposes connected with rural regeneration in areas of social and economic deprivation throughout the UK by:

    • The relief of financial hardship.

    • The advancement of education, training or retraining, particularly among unemployed people, and providing work experience for the unemployed.

    • The provision of financial assistance to promote employment opportunities in farming and rural areas.

Latest Information

The deadline for receipt of applications for the first 2012 application round is Friday 13 April 2012 at 5pm

Key Criteria

Applications will be accepted from organisations operating in the United Kingdom.  Applicants can be, but do not need to be, charities.

Applicants are expected to be able to demonstrate the support of the community which will benefit from the project and show evidence of consulting the community.  Applicants that can demonstrate a track record of successful project management will also be favoured.

Eligible Expenditure

The focus areas for the Fund are as follows:

Projects to improve the sustainability of British farming in areas of deprivation

The Fund will support projects that can make a difference to farmers who are suffering from financial hardship, staying in business or leaving the industry, through helping to make these farmers' businesses more sustainable.  The particular areas of focus are as follows:

  • Support for farmers in financial hardship to help them improve efficiency and/or add value to their business through the provision of on-farm business advice, assistance with complying with bureaucratic processes, and diversification.

  • Provision of technology and training to educate farmers who are in financial hardship about improved management of on-farm enterprises.

  • Retention of traditional skills to benefit financially deprived rural/farming areas.

  • Provision of opportunities for continued education for farmers and other rural workers.

  • Inspiring and enabling new entrants, particularly young people, through education about farming, to consider a career in farming.

  • Facilitation of knowledge transfer for continuous improvement of agricultural business in poor rural areas.

  • Collaborative farmer led initiatives aimed at adding value, reducing costs, sharing information and shortening supply chains in farming/rural areas suffering from financial hardship.

Projects to improve the sustainability of rural communities

The Fund will support projects that help to keep rural communities experiencing deprivation alive and thriving.  These projects will focus on the following:

  • Job creation, including support for start-up firms to promote employment in farming/rural areas.

  • Shared transport provision or improving access to transport to relieve financial hardship and improve quality of life.

  • Education programmes that improve understanding of and engagement with the countryside.

  • Brokering business support for community ventures which support the Fund's charitable objectives.

  • Community environmental initiatives where added benefits to the community can be demonstrated and which support the Fund's charitable objectives.

  • Initiatives to enable young people who would not otherwise be financially secure to remain in rural communities.

Projects to reconnect people with the countryside

The Fund will support initiatives aimed at reconnecting current and future consumers with the natural environment through education about farming/rural areas.  In particular, education about the following:

  • The origins of food in rural areas, the connection between fresh, locally produced food and healthy eating, and how agriculture helps to maintain the landscape and the environment.

  • The importance or rural sustainability.

  • The benefits of British food, local and regional sourcing.

  • How the landscape has been created and the wider benefits of farming.

Particular time-bound tranches of funding may focus on specific elements of these, at the discretion of the Fund's Trustees, or in response to an emerging need.

Match Funding Restrictions

The Fund can pay for a portion or the entirety of the costs of a project, as either a one-off grant or as ongoing support.

Applications for match funding in order to support a bid for other grants that meet the Fund's objectives will be considered.

Where an applicant is requesting at least £25,000 from the Fund, or where the sum applied for is 50% or more of the overall cost of a project, the project team must be able to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Trustees that they have investigated alternative sources of funding to meet their needs and that this alternative funding is not available.


The following will not be funded:

  • Statutory bodies, such as local authorities and NHS bodies, or work where there is a statutory responsibility to provide funding.

  • Religious bodies where the funding will be for religious purposes.

  • Political organisations where the funding will be used for political purposes.

  • Projects where the work has begun in anticipation of receiving funding.

  • Projects where the funding would displace existing funding streams, such as Entry Level Stewardship schemes.

  • Projects which do not demonstrate sufficient public benefit and in which private benefit is more than incidental.

  • Projects which are aimed at generating commercial benefits beyond the relief of financial hardship in farming/rural areas.

  • Projects wholly dependent on funding for over three years.

  • Applications from individuals.

  • Projects that would damage the name or reputation of the Fund.

Application Procedure

Applications to the fund will be managed in rounds which will allocate a specified portion of the fund and may be general in nature or focus on one or more of the charitable objectives.

Addresses and contacts

For further information on how to obtain this funding opportunity locally, please contact the following:

Contact details:

Victoria Elms
Prince's Countryside Fund
Business in the Community
137 Shepherdess Walk
N1 7RQ

Telephone: 0207 5668650