Get involved with Village SOS and bid for funds, says Rory

Ahead of a second round of funding becoming available, Rory is calling on Penrith and the Border’s constituents to get involved with the Village SOS initiative, a joint programme between the BBC and the Big Lottery Fund, 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. Applications from voluntary and community groups or organisations such as charities, village 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. This second round of funding precedes the Village SOS Roadshow that will provide information, inspiration and advice to rural communities. Starting in Dunfermline, Scotland the roadshow will then visit 10 other locations in England and Wales. Experts will be on hand to help people in rural areas to start their community enterprises.

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.”

For more information about the Village SOS application process please visit

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