The Big Lottery Fund has joined forces with the Village SOS initiative in a ground breaking partnership to support rural community enterprises across the UK. 

A UK wide helpline has been set up and a series of regional and county events, run by the Plunkett Foundation, Co-operative UK, Locality and ACRE, will provide advice and support for communities wishing to set up community enterprises.

The series of events will run from October to December, providing an ideal opportunity to speak to the Village SOS team, the organisations involved and the Big Lottery county and regional teams.

The Big Lottery Fund has also backed the initiative with a £5.3m competition to help rural communities set up and run a community enterprise in various forms or help existing ones diversify into new activities.

Rural communities have until 20th October to register their interest in the competition with a simple expression of interest form that is quick and easy to complete. Those selected will be asked to complete a longer application and the Big Lottery expects to award between 250-300 rural communities with grants of between £10k and £30k.

To find out more visit or give the Village SOS a call on 0845 434 9123