WITH just over two weeks left until applications close, rural communities off the mains gas grid are being encouraged to submit their applications to the Calor Rural Community Fund, for a chance to receive a grant of up to £5,000.

Now in its third year, the Calor Rural Community Fund aims to reward deserving rural community projects with 21 prize pots ranging from £1,000 to £5,000.

Andy Parker, Calor’s head of corporate affairs, said: “From wrestling clubs to second hand community shops, there has been all sorts of varied and deserving projects come forward to apply for this year’s fund, but we are certain there must be many more community groups out there that would really benefit from the grants available.

“As a company, we are passionate about supporting rural communities.

"Over the past two years, we’ve seen the Calor Rural Community Fund contribute to numerous projects that have helped improve local life, including village hall refurbishments and new equipment for sporting and music groups.

“Because we’ve seen first-hand the difference our funding can really make to these communities, we have made the decision to up the total prize pot to £70,000 for this year’s scheme."

Once applications close on the April 29, members of the public will then start voting for their favourite projects from May 2.

“As an added incentive, Calor is partnering with Crowdfunder for this year’s scheme and we are pledging £2,000 worth of match funding to approved entries that use the fund-raising platform to raise donations for their community project – so now’s the time to get involved!” added Mr Parker.

Calor will be joined by a panel of judges from organisations including Business in the Community, mental health charity Mind, Crowdfunder, Plunkett Foundation and Rural England to help decide on the winners, which will be announced on July 18.

To apply, visit www.calor.co.uk/communityfund