The Plunkett Foundation, with support from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, has created a new comprehensive support service for rural communities considering setting up or diversifying community-owned services (such as shops and pubs) to help turn the tide on rural decline. Communities will need to be aiming to raise at least £10,000 through community shares to be eligible, see http://www.plunkett.co.uk/newsandmedia/news-item.cfm/newsid/656.
Government department DEFRA will be launching a Rural Community Renewable Energy Fund next year to provide loans to rural communities to help them undertake the initial development work for renewable energy schemes. To gauge levels of interest, there is a pre-registration form at http://www.defra.gov.uk/rural/economy/services-transport/renewable-energy/. (Source: ACRE headlines)