This is a project delivered by the local community in one of the 137 villages that received National Lottery funding through Village SOS – a programme run by Big Lottery Fund, BBC and The Plunkett Foundation that aimed to get new businesses started in rural locations.
Village SOS began in 2010 when six enterprising UK rural villages won Big Lottery Fund investment of around £400,000 to revive their communities through new business ventures.
Each village could draw on the expertise of their own Village Champion, a business expert who lived in the local area for one year, and use their knowledge and skills to get the local enterprise up-and-running. Projects included everything from setting up a mobile shop service to establishing a micro brewery!
Their progress was filmed by the BBC for a major new primetime documentary series shown in summer 2011, which followed the enterprises from start-up to trading.
Hot on the heels of the original six projects, Big Lottery Fund awarded another four grants of around £400,000 as Village SOS Learning Awards. While these villages don’t appear in the TV series, they also had the help of Village Champions.
Today, Village SOS aims to build on the experience of these ten projects and inspire the whole nation to join in and take the bold step towards starting a new business that will regenerate their own community. Ongoing support, including expert advice and events, is on offer to help community led business ventures get off the ground, breathe new life into their areas, create new jobs and improve the quality of life of local people.
For more information about the Village SOS visit www.villagesos.org.uk