‘village sos’ – get involved

Rory has called on constituents to get involved with the BBC television programme ‘Village SOS’, a joint programme between the broadcaster and the Big Lottery Fund, funding six rural villages to start community businesses that can breathe new life into their areas and create jobs. The village’s journeys are filmed over the course of 12 months, which coincides with a learning campaign that provides resources for other villages wishing to undertake similar ventures and get a share of the £5.3m funding. The ‘Village SOS Competition’ will give around 250 awards of between £10,000 and £30,000 to kick-start community businesses.

Rory said: “This is a great opportunity for any village in Penrith and the Border to get involved in an initiative which 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 strength of volunteering and community enterprise. I will of course be happy to personally support any community initiative that is eligible for the Village SOS Competition.”

Big Lottery Fund officer for the north-west, Antonia Ford said: “We want to support inspiring business ideas that will bring people together in villages across the UK and support activities and enterprises that will tackle the challenges they face. We’re particularly interested in giving money to enterprising ideas that will use the skills of local people, and the area’s natural resources, land and buildings.”

You must be a Village SOS member to enter the competition.  You can become a member by visiting the website www.villagesos.org.uk or by ringing the helpline number 0845 434 9123. The closing date for entry is 5pm, Thursday 6th October 2011. To date, Bolton, Kirkby Stephen, Appleby in Westmorland and Tebay have all registered, but Rory wants to encourage more villages to get involved.

Print Friendly and PDF