The Prince’s Countryside Fund has announced today that it will be giving £40,000 from the emergency relief fund to ARC Addington Fund and Farm Crisis Network following the recent problems affecting the farming industry. Designed to provide immediate support to farming charities, the money will be drawn from a special emergency funding stream set aside by The Prince’s Countryside Fund.
ARC Addington Fund will be given £25,000 the majority of which will be used by The Trustees’ Discretionary Fund. This exists to help viable farming businesses with a grant, when they experience financial hardship due to unexpected circumstances. Following the poor season for forage production and much higher consumption than budgeted due to harsh weather, applications for grants have risen by 350% as farmers struggle with cash flow problems and cannot purchase animal feed stuffs.
In addition £15,000 will go to Farm Crisis Network whose case work has doubled as a result of the delay to many farmers Single Farm Payment. This delay to a critical part of many farming families’ income has tipped them into financial difficulty and resulting cash flow issues are causing real problems.
The Prince’s Countryside Fund was set up in July 2010 by Business in the Community and is the brainchild of The Prince of Wales who has a long-held commitment to supporting Britain’s hard pressed rural areas. The Fund is raising money from a wide range of businesses who have responded to The Prince’s call to action to improve the long-term viability of the British countryside and its rural communities. The intention is to inspire other businesses and the general public to get involved and recognise the importance of the countryside to the nation’s well-being and the wider British economy.
The funding raised has been channelled into providing grants to projects, large and small, that are delivering the three core objectives of The Prince’s Countryside Fund. These objectives focus on improving the sustainability of British farming and rural communities (targeting the areas of greatest need), reconnecting consumers with countryside issues; and supporting farming crisis charities through a reserved portion of funding.
Says Ian Bell, Fund Director ARC Addington Fund ‘‘This timely support from The Prince’s Countryside Fund comes at a critical period for some livestock farmers as they struggle to feed their animals. There is nothing more distressing to a stock farmer than not being able to care for animals properly.”
Says Sarah Brown, Executive Director, Farm Crisis Network ‘“With one in four farmers living on or below the poverty line the delay to the payment that keeps many producing our food, caring for our livestock and maintaining our natural environment is nothing short of a disaster. For some it is like their whole year’s salary being on hold while animals still need feeding, crops still need planting and work still needs doing! The resulting increase in FCN casework is extremely challenging so this contribution from The Prince’s Countryside Fund is brilliantly timed and will help us keep helping farming families who need support getting through a serious crisis.“
Members of the general public who would like to help can make a donation over the counter at The Post Office or via our Text Service. Please text PCF to 70300 and a £3 donation will be made automatically to The Prince’s Countryside Fund.