Monday, 26 November 2012

New funding to help communities take control through enterprise

Rural communities across the UK are set to benefit from a new injection of funding to help them revive their villages through community enterprise.across the UK are set to benefit from a new injection of funding to help them revive their villages through community enterprise.

The Plunkett Foundation has been awarded over £450,000 from long-term supporters the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation to create a new comprehensive
support service for rural communities considering setting up or diversifying community-owned services – like shops and pubs – to help turn the tide on rural decline.

The funding, which follows the Foundation’s hugely successful Village CORE programme, funded by Esmée Fairbairn, will provide a much needed boost for
communities considering community ownership, and will provide a combination of adviser support, training, feasibility grants, and opportunities for networking with other community enterprises. The support is specifically focused at the early stage of a community’s ideas, and will help them progress to the next stage. Eligibility for support will depend on communities
aiming to raise at least £10,000 themselves through community shares and support will be given to ensure communities are creating viable and sustainable businesses that engage the whole community.

James Alcock, Head of Frontline at the Plunkett Foundation, says: “The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation has been a long-term supporter of Plunkett’s work, funding our successful Village CORE programme which saw almost 100 rural communities being provided with specialist support and funding to save their village shop.

Now, thanks to the continued support of Esmée Fairbairn, we are able to extend our work to other forms of enterprise, benefitting more communities across the whole of the UK.

“Our support through this programme depends upon the enterprises aiming to raise at least £10,000 by offering shares to the whole community. This approach has been extremely successful for enterprises like shops and pubs, allowing them to raise a significant amount of money in often a short space of time whilst ensuring the success of the enterprise is rooted in the whole community, empowering residents to make a difference and ensuring long-term sustainability.”

This new service will open for applications on the 3rd December, and Plunkett encourages rural communities who need support for their enterprises to contact them directly for more information via 01993 810730 or by

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