The Big Lottery Fund's Village SOS scheme

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Village SOS makes grants of between £10,000 and £50,000 to rural communities who want to set up new social enterprises. Applications are welcomed from communities with populations of fewer than 3,000 people and must reach Village SOS by 2pm on 12 September. No community is too small.

Village SOS has already supported many shops, cafes, pubs, transport schemes, community broadband and energy projects, set up by locals who worked together to breathe new life into where they live.

The Village SOS programme is supported by leaders in the rural enterprise sector – Plunkett Foundation, Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE), Co-operatives UK and Locality.

Two schemes that have recently benefited in Wales are:

Raven Mad Ltd, Denbighshire
Based in Llamarmon-yn-lal, £30,000 has been awarded to set up self-catering accommodation at the existing community run pub. This will help meet the need locally for tourist accommodation enabling a wide range of visitors to spend longer periods in this rural community.

Dolen Dewi, Ceredigion
Funding of £23,985 has been awarded to renovate the redundant village hall kitchen to run a community shop in the rural village of Capel Dewi. Focusing on selling essential supplies and local fresh produce from nearby farms, the shop will offer a vegetable box service and also promote local artists and craft makers by displaying their work.

For more information about community enterprises and to check an area’s eligibility, visit www.villagesos.org.uk.

Please feel free to contact the Village SOS team with any questions via active@villagesos.co.uk