The Prince of Wales will announce plans to regenerate 50 remote villages by using local pubs as community centres when he reveals the first beneficiaries of his new Countryside Fund charity next week. The Pub is the Hub scheme has already transformed 400 villages in England by providing amenities such as post offices, shops, school meals and playgrounds at pubs which in many cases were threatened with closure. Projects to sustain hill farming in Cumbria and support vulnerable farmers in the North East will also receive grants when the Countryside Fund is formally launched on July 22. The Prince has set up the Countryside Fund to help small family farmers and struggling villages to stay viable in the long term. As well as providing grants, the charity, which is being supported by more than a dozen businesses including Waitrose, will build up an emergency fund to help farmers in times of crisis, such as outbreaks of livestock diseases. John Longden, chief executive of Pub is the Hub, said the Prince’s decision to support the organisation would provide a “phenomenal” boost, enabling it to expand the scheme to Wales. The Daily Telegraph, p8