Sustain the Plain

2002 – 2007

In 2001, in conjunction with Wiltshire Council, Community First bid for funding under the European Union’s Rural Development Programme for LEADER funding, to run a five-year community and business grants programme called Sustain the Plain.

For funding projects needed to:

  • Improve the quality of life of people with the sustain the Plain area

And /or

  • Encourage the best use and appreciation of natural and cultural resources

And /or

  • Involve military and civilian people integrating / working together

Projects needed to be in one of the following fields:

  • Communications (e.g. information services, ICR, learning)
  • Community Support and self help (e.g. strengthening local communities and organisations)
  • Environment, culture and heritage (e.g. stimulating interest in communities in wildlife and archaeological heritage)
  • Tourism and Small Business (e.g. encouraging tourism, supporting small businesses)

Address one of the following needs

  • Teenagers and young adults 12 – 25 with poor access to facilities
  • Young adults 16 – 30 in need of employment initiatives
  • Wives and partners of military personnel in garrison towns
  • Others in communities isolated from opportunities
  • People of older working age (45+)
  • Rural businesses and workers

From the above, most projects were to be revenue projects, with staffing costs as the major expenditure. There was no national control, and Sustain the Plain was overseen by the South West Regional Development Agency (SWRDA). The forms and processes had to be designed by staff and submitted to SWRDA for approval.

Please visit the ‘Our Impact‘ page where you can read about how Sustain the Plain helped to launch the Military Civilian Integration initiative in Wiltshire, which is now recognised as a pathfinder working method; how we helped reinstate the Great Bustard in Wiltshire after it had been absent for many years; and how we helped to set up community shops in villages.