Tourism is an important lifeline for many rural areas, creating jobs and boosting the local economy. We are proud to champion the rural areas surrounding each of ourÂ 11 locationsÂ across the UK, through buying produce and products locally and encouraging our guests to discover and explore the regions' heritage, culture, and attractions during their stay.
By creating employment, sharing the economic benefits of tourism, and actively contributing to communities, we aim to play a part in maintaining the quality of rural life for generations to come.
From May 2019, we will be donating 10p from every hot drink sold in our Forest Retreats to support people with business ideas in rural areas, through a business start-up grant programme. Entrepreneurs will also be offered mentoring support for 12 months from a relevant expert in one of our teams.
Gemma Chance, our Head of Purpose and Partnerships said: â€œWe want to do more to secure a sustainable future for the rural economy and offer entrepreneurs and start-up businesses a helping hand. One of the biggest barriers to setting up a new business is financial support, so we have joined forces with The Princeâ€™s Countryside Fund to help to overcome this. This fund will help businesses starting out to develop their ideas and build their business in the local area, helping to stimulate economic growth from within.â€
Claire Saunders, Director of The Princeâ€™s Countryside Fund said: â€œForest Holidaysâ€™ sustainable approach to tourism is a real asset to rural communities, and The Princeâ€™s Countryside Fund is delighted that they are supporting our work to boost the rural economy. The Rural Business Start-Up Fund will offer not only financial support, but also expert advice and mentoring to entrepreneurs in rural areas, helping us achieve our vision of a more sustainable countryside and an improved quality of rural life.â€
Applications for the rural business start-up fund will be open towards the end of 2019 throughÂ The Prince's Countryside Fund.