Village SOS is a major initiative from the Big Lottery Fund (BIG) and
the BBC. Six UK villages with a great business idea have been teamed up
with six enterprising individuals to help them achieve their ambitions.
Together they will create a brand new venture that will bring life and
energy to the village.
Find out more about the six
selected projects on the BIG
A BBC One series airing later in 2010 will follow the new enterprises
from start-up to trading.
Village SOS also aims to make an impact beyond the six villages featured in
the TV series with a major BBC Learning campaign to promote rural
enterprise across the UK.
Villages with a bright idea
Rural villages with fewer than 3,000 people and an idea for a new business
to bring energy and life back to the community were encouraged to apply to
take part in Village SOS. The idea could be to set up a local shop, an
online retail enterprise, a manufacturing, arts or tourism business, a
festival, a venture involving the restoration of an ancient building -
anything, as long as it has the potential to grow and make a profit for the
village. Any kind of voluntary or community group from a local festival
committee to a village history society could apply for one of the six
Lottery awards of up to £400,000 each.
We put out a call for Village Champions, people with a successful track
record in running a business or project and who like the idea of working
for a community-run enterprise. The successful Village Champions have the
charisma, confidence and know-how to help breathe new life into a rural
community and to make the most of the local talent. They are also prepared
to move to the village to live and work there for a year.