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Rural Programme: Community Grants

Creating solutions to tackle rural poverty
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Funding size:
£10,000 - £350,000
Total available:
Approximately £2 million in Round 1
Application deadline:
1pm Monday 3rd April 2017


Siop Pwllglas part of the Community Hall in Pwllglas and is a thriving social enterprise.

Community Grants

We are inviting community groups to apply for funding to tackle rural poverty in Anglesey, Gwynedd, Conwy, Denbighshire, Powys, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Monmouthshire.

Grants of between £10,000 and £350,000 are available for groups whose work will benefit a community with a population of 10,000 or less. If you have a project idea that exceeds this budget range or any of the given criteria, please give us a call to discuss your idea. Further rounds of funding will be announced next year.

Although the types of activities that could be funded are not being prescribed, applications would need to show how groups are doing any of the following to address poverty:

  • Improving well-being
  • Raising aspirations
  • Building social capital – enhancing skills available in the community
  • Increasing resilience to challenging circumstances.

This could include themes like employment and income, transport and access to services, poor broadband and digital exclusion, housing and fuel poverty and demand for welfare and advice services.

To help demonstrate the types of projects that could apply, the fund has published six stories demonstrating the impact of National Lottery-funded projects in rural Wales (see case studies below)

Rural programme consultation

Between September and December 2015, we asked you what you thought was the best way for us to communicate and engage with rural communities, and received hundreds of responses which helped shape the funding programme. You can see the full results of that survey here.

Community Development Support

This funding for the Rural Programme comes after £2 million was set aside for community development support. Third-sector-led partnerships have applied to this part of the programme with up to four successful applicants being announced in spring 2017. Their work will support communities in developing ideas and funding applications to overcome challenges they face which are linked to poverty.

How to apply

Please read the guidance notes below as well as the case studies which give you an idea of the diverse range of projects this programme could fund.

You will then need to call us on 0300 123 0735 or e-mail rural.wales@biglotteryfund.org.uk so we can discuss your idea before we send you an application form.

Further rounds of funding for the Community Grants part of the Rural Programme will be announced after round one closes for applications on Monday 3rd April 2017.

The Big Lottery Fund is a living wage friendly funder. This means that we encourage our applicants to pay their staff the UK Living Wage.

Please visit our Living Wage page for more information

Case studies

"He tried absolutely everything to break me"

After decades trapped in a brutal and violent relationship, Edna finds the support at Carmarthenshire Domestic Abuse Service (CDAS) invaluable and makes living in such a rural area acceptable because of the ongoing support.


Electric car just the spark for rural community

Wales’ first electric car share club is enabling people to share the cost of motoring with their neighbourhood. Cilgwyn Community Group in Newport, Pembrokeshire leased a brand new electric vehicle and set up a car-sharing club for the area.


Read more….. 

Growing success of veg box scheme

A veg box scheme has become so successful is has now into a cooperative of local growers providing vegetables in and around a mid Wales town. Green Isle Growers is a collection of three community growing projects in and around Machynlleth.


Opening new doors for older and younger people

Homeshare matches younger people looking for reasonably-priced accommodation with older people who are lonely or isolated and can offer a spare room. The younger person typically pledges around 10 hours of companionship and light domestic help to their host in return for accommodation.


So much more than a shop

A group of villagers from the Pwllglas in Denbighshire reversed the erosion of rural life in their community and reopened the shop and the post office and created a hub which the whole village could be proud of.


Building bridges and lives

Thanks to the Building Bridges project in Monmouth, disabled 22-year-old Lewis Venner has been learning a range of new skills, some of which are geared towards helping him become more independent. 

Read more….


Organisation Types

  • Voluntary or community organisation
  • Public sector organisation


  • Health and well-being
  • Young People
  • Education, learning and skills
  • Children and young people
  • Environment
  • Stronger communities
  • Identifying and meeting need
  • Building skills and confidence


  • Carers
  • Children
  • Families
  • Not in employment, education or training
  • People who have no or low incomes
  • Older people
  • People who have physical ill health
  • People with disabilities
  • People with mental health issues
  • Voluntary and community sector organisations
  • Young people