Time is running out to apply for rural grants

THERE are only two weeks left for communities in the Lurgan area to apply to the Village SOS Lottery funding scheme to half rural decline.

Rural communities are reminded that grants of up to £50,000 are being offered to start up community business ventures that will breathe new life into their areas.

The money comes from the Big Lottery Fund’s Village SOS scheme, which aims to inspire a rural revival across the UK and support rural communities that may be struggling with issues such as isolation, ageing populations, and the closure of local amenities.

The Big Lottery Fund is urging rural communities with populations of less than 3,000 in the Lurgan area and across Northern Ireland to the make the most of the funding scheme before it closes on September 12.

Grants of between £10,000 and £50,000 are available to develop plans for enterprising projects that will answer a local need or improve services for local people. Projects could be anything from community-run shops and pubs to energy or transport schemes, craft or food projects.

People in the Lurgan area and across Northern Ireland can register at www.villagesos.org.uk where they will find more information and advice about community enterprises, including an online support network. Application forms for the funding are available on the website now.