A MAJOR new initiative by the Big Lottery Fund and BBC One is offering six individuals with a proven track record in business the chance to escape the rat race to help rejuvenate a village.
The six successful village champions will get to live and work in one of six rural villages for a whole year and use their expertise to support the community in starting up a new business – with Big Lottery Fund backing of up to £400,000.
The search is part of Village SOS, a new partnership between the BBC and the Big Lottery Fund (BIG), which is challenging villages to come up with brilliant ideas for new businesses to help revive their communities, many of which are seeing rural life eroded by economic pressures and the closure of local amenities.
Village SOS is inviting rural communities with a population of fewer than 3,000, lots of enthusiasm and a great business idea – from retailing to manufacturing, the arts to leisure – to apply.
Six villages will receive Lottery funding of between £100,000 and £400,000 to get their businesses off the ground.
Applications close on August 14. To apply, log on to www.bbc.co.uk/villagesos.