The Royal Countryside Fund boosts Antrim rural community project

Through its Supporting Rural Communities grants programme, The Royal Countryside Fund (RCF) has announced that 11 rural communities across the UK will receive a significant boost, with grants of up to £25,000 over two years.
Growing food with BCW Training. Picture: Countryside FundGrowing food with BCW Training. Picture: Countryside Fund
Growing food with BCW Training. Picture: Countryside Fund

Founded by HM King Charles III, then The Prince of Wales, in 2010, The Royal Countryside Fund’s vision (formerly known as The Prince’s Countryside Fund) is for rural communities to achieve their own solutions to build the social infrastructure and local services they need. Too often, rural communities are without access to transport, jobs, and community spaces, increasing isolation and mental health issues.

As a charity, the RCF seeks to help those who live and work in rural communities across the UK to achieve their own solutions to the issues they face. Whether its developing environmental initiatives such as reducing food waste, providing skills training to improve employment opportunities for young people, or creating accessible community spaces, the community commitment behind each project means that thousands of people will directly benefit from the RCF’s support in a way that is meaningful to them and their communities. Since its formation, The Royal Countryside Fund has invested more than £11.2 million in over 480 rural community-led projects.

One project which has been recognised for the impact the project will have on the community is BCW Training. Manager, Anne Marie Doherty says: “This training initiative aimed at people from the rural area who are lonely, isolated and impoverished and will offer courses and group workshops to improve their social integration, which will engender feelings of pride and achievement, reduce stress and increase feelings of self-esteem and self-respect. The continuity of belonging to a regular non-judgemental group will help reduce feelings of isolation or exclusion. It aims to build community resilience where people look out for each other and help one another more; as our community will have more opportunities.”

Keith Halstead, Executive Director of The Royal Countryside Fund says: “Living in rural Britain has significant challenges – we hear first-hand how isolation and a lack of local services and facilities are detrimental to the quality of rural life. Countryside communities need practical and grounded support in responding to these challenges, to build themselves a secure and sustainable future.

"Our investment in rural communities enables those who live and work in villages and the countryside across the UK to succeed as we fund their solutions to local issues.

“I would like to thank our partners and supporters, particularly the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery and Waitrose & Partners, as their help is vital to the success of our Supporting Rural Communities grant programme.”

The RCF’s autumn funding round will be open for applications on Friday 8th September 2023. Further information on how to apply and eligibility will shortly be available on the RCF website - visit If you would like to talk to a member of the team about making an application, you can email [email protected].

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