Turning the wheels of rural enterprise
- Credit: Archant
How one of Britain’s most popular vehicle makers is helping countryside entrepreneurs
Following the success of the inaugural Prince’s Countryside Fund and Land Rover Bursary in 2013, the two organisations are once again combining forces to support rural Britain in 2014. The Land Rover Bursary serves to award the rising stars of rural Britain and recognise their efforts to revitalise British countryside communities. The scheme, part of a three-year partnership with The Prince’s Countryside Fund, first announced by HRH Prince of Wales last year, offers the use of a Freelander 2 for a year to five individuals or groups who can demonstrate that it would enable them to support their rural community.
The five successful candidates in 2013 was a diverse group including James Rebanks, a Herdwick sheep farmer from Penrith, Cumbria, Sian Curley, who runs a firewood social Freelander 2 and were the most likely to use the bursary to make a long-term, positive difference to the community around them. Applicants underwent a selection process comprising an initial application, character references and interview. Says Sian: “I would encourage
anyone thinking about entering the 2014 Land Rover Bursary to do it. The bursary has been a real help to my community and the Freelander 2 has proved an excellent workhorse. The application process was straightforward and both Land Rover and The Prince’s Countryside Fund have been excellent throughout the process.”
As part of the bursary the successful candidates recorded a short ‘day in the life’ film of their “The Prince’s Countryside Fund is all about supporting the people who live and work in the countryside” enterprise in Ullapool, Ross-shire, and Edward Richardson, who supports isolated farmers in Cornwall. The successful candidates were those that exuded community spirit, exhibited a genuine need for a For more details about Land Rover
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The Prince’s Countryside Fund, founded by HRH The Prince of Wales, who has a long-held commitment to supporting Britain’s hard pressed rural areas, was set up by
Business in the Community in July 2010. So far it has given more than £3.8 million in grants distributed to more than 80 projects across the country, directly benefitting 64,000 people.
Projects that have been funded range from apprenticeships for budding hill farmers, training for young people to gain employment in the rural economy, community transport schemes in isolated rural areas and projects to educate school children about where their food comes from and why the countryside matters. In addition to its normal application process, the Fund also operates an emergency fund for times of need. All the projects focus on supporting the people who care for our countryside and make it tick. The public can make a donation online at Virgin Giving, at the Post
Office or by text. Text PCF to 70300 and a £3 donation will be made to The Prince’s projects. Sian’s videos can be seen here – princescountrysidefund.org.uk from 24 February.
Victoria Elms, The Prince’s Countryside Fund Programme Manager, said: “It is fantastic to be able to announce the opening of our 2014 Land Rover Bursary. We have seen the difference that the vehicle has brought to our 2013 winners and their communities and it has been brilliant. The Prince’s Countryside Fund is all about supporting the people who live and work in the countryside and we had some excellent entries for the 2013 bursary and hope to see even more for 2014.”The Freelander 2, and the rest of the Land Rover family, is the natural choice for those who live and work in the countryside, offering true capability and versatility to tackle all weathers and terrains. Laura Schwab, Marketing Director of Land Rover UK, said: “We are delighted to demonstrate our on-going commitment to the bursary and look forward to making a dramatic difference to more worthy projects. The Freelander 2 has always provided reliable and dependable transportation for those in the countryside and rural communities, and we are excited at the prospect of being able to offer the vehicle to more projects in 2014.”
The partnership aims to help people living and working in the countryside who are dedicated to building a sustainable future in rural locations.
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This article was first published in the March issue of Somerset Life. To get the magazine delivered every month to your home, subscribe at www.subscriptionsave.co.uk/som or call 08448484217