At their best, rural communities are close-knit and have a strong sense of identity offering an unmatched quality of life. But many small market towns and villages in Essex have been hit hard by closures of schools, shops, churches, post offices and pubs. Reduced bus services can prevent people travelling to jobs and a lack of activities for the young can be a catalyst to social problems.
By 2033, it is estimated that 28% of the Essex population will be older people. The closure of many local and community services, means that these people, including young adults and families, are increasingly likely to feel isolated within the place they call home.
We have supported a wide range of projects in rural communities of Essex, including transport schemes, community shops and pubs, mobile pre-schools, outreach advice schemes and village hall improvement projects.
Read about some of the projects below or view full list of grants awarded this year.