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Winners Of First Ever Land Rover Bursary Announced At World's Largest Outdoor Countryside Event

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WARWICKSHIRE, UNITED KINGDOM – July 24, 2013: Land Rover and The Prince’s Countryside Fund today named their first ever successful candidates for the inaugural Land Rover bursary.

The Bursary serves to award the rising stars of rural Britain and recognise their efforts to revitalise British countryside communities. The Freelander 2, and the rest of the Land Rover family, is the natural choice for those who live and work in the Countryside, offering true capability and versatility to tackle all weathers and terrains.

The announcement was made at the CLA Game Fair at Ragley Hall, Alcester, Warwickshire, where candidates were officially congratulated by Land Rover ambassador, TV presenter and journalist Phil Spencer, a fellow Land Rover driver and countryside supporter. In total five successful candidates were chosen, with each receiving a year’s loan of a Land Rover Freelander 2 as part of the bursary.

Applicants for the scheme had to undergo a rigorous selection process comprising an initial application, character references and interview, as well as demonstrating that the use of a Freelander 2 for a year would enable them to support their rural community. The successful candidates were those that exuded community spirit, exhibited a genuine need for a Freelander 2 and were the most likely to use the Bursary to make a long-term, positive difference to the community around them.

The successful candidates were named as:

  • Sian Curley – Firewood social enterprise – Ullapool, Ross-shire
  • Thomas Hartley – Rural broadband – Hornby, Lancaster
  • Edward Richardson – Farm outreach worker – Penzance, Cornwall
  • James Rebanks – Herdwick sheep farmer – Penrith, Cumbria
  • Mark Curr – Farmer and chairman of Cumbria YFC – Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria

    Sian Curley, who runs a community-owned firewood business based in Ullapool, North-West Scottish Highlands, applied to the Land Rover Bursary scheme for help delivering wood to the local community. The only employee of Lochbroom Woodfuels, wholly owned by the Ullapool Community Trust, Sian serves a remote and sparsely populated area where people suffer fuel poverty with ever-rising energy costs.

    The scheme sources timber from sustainably managed local forests and provides fuel to customers at a fair cost. Sian did not have a vehicle suitable for delivering logs, so the worst hit in the community – those without access to a trailer or pick-up – were missing out. Her new Bursary Freelander 2 will solve these problems.

    Sian commented, “I feel so privileged to be one of the first ever candidates to receive The Prince’s Countryside Fund Land Rover Bursary. Living in the remote Highlands means a rugged and reliable off-road vehicle is really a necessity for my job, and as I was without one my local community was missing out too. I am exceptionally grateful to all involved and can’t wait to get behind the wheel.”

    All bursary winners will document their progress and the positive effect of the Freelander 2 on their business and their community via video diaries over the next 12 months.

    Laura Schwab, Marketing Director of Land Rover UK, said: “We are delighted to be have been able to announce the successful candidates today and are sure that the Freelander 2 they receive will make a dramatic difference to their projects. Having reliable and dependable transport to work in the countryside is essential and we are excited to see what the coming year brings for them.”

    Victoria Harris, Director of The Prince’s Countryside Fund said: “The Prince's Countryside Fund was set up to support the people who live and work in the countryside. We had some outstanding entries for the Bursary and heard some very inspiring stories and are sure that those candidates we have selected will go on to make a difference in their rural communities.”

    Land Rover announced in January 2013 a three-year partnership with The Prince’s Countryside Fund. The partnership involves the support of rural communities and offers help to people living in the countryside dedicated to building a sustainable future in these locations.