Rory is calling on Penrith and the Border’s constituents to get involved with the Village SOS initiative – a joint programme of the Big Lottery Fund in collaboration with leaders in the rural enterprise sector such as the Plunkett Foundation, Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE), Co-operatives UK and Locality – which is funding rural villages and small towns to start community businesses that have the potential to breathe new life into their areas and create jobs.
Village SOS is looking to award grants of between £10,000-£50,000 for enterprising community projects, and any community with less than 3,000 residents is invited to apply. It has already supported many shops, cafes, pubs, transport schemes, community broadband and energy projects, set up by locals who worked together to breathe new life into where they live.
The deadline for the current funding round if September 12th 2012.
Rory said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for any village or small town in the constituency to bid for a tranche of very welcome funding. It’s an initiative that is extremely relevant to our constituency. If your village has an interesting idea for a community enterprise, and has fewer than 3,000 people living in it, please do consider applying to become a member village. Let’s continue to put Cumbria on the map for its extraordinary volunteers and community enterprise. I will of course be happy to personally support any community initiative that is eligible for the Village SOS Competition.”
Applications from voluntary and community groups or organisations such as charities, village hall committees, associations, trusts, co-operatives or social enterprises are welcome, as well as from parish, town or community councils, where it can be evidenced that local residents have clearly shaped the project.
For more information about the Village SOS application process please visit http://www.villagesos.org.uk/