A lottery scheme aimed at funding 'innovative projects' tackling rural poverty in Wales is set to launch a second round of funding this year.

Organisers at the Big Lottery Fund say they're opening the £4m scheme for a round of follow-up grants after an initial tranche of funding was made available to community projects in 2017.

The programme is aimed at groups of organisations working in partnership to tackle issues which matter most to people in rural communities living in poverty.

Grants can be used to fund most of the costs associated with delivering projects such as staff salaries, training, volunteer expenses, management costs, equipment, premises costs, monitoring and evaluation, capital work and overheads.

Projects will support communities with 10,000 people or less, mainly within Powys, Anglesey, Gwynedd, Conwy, Denbighshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire or Monmouthshire.

Rona Aldrich, Chair of the Big Lottery Fund’s Rural Poverty Committee said: "We are looking for innovative projects that address the needs people have identified within their own communities. They could be struggling to meet basic needs or to access services, or they perhaps don’t have reasonable living conditions or might be isolated from others.

"Rural communities are diverse and we hope that this programme will give people an incentive to get together and work in partnership with each other and local organisations to find solutions for common issues they identify."

"Access is often a major issue for rural communities, so we could be looking at solutions which take account of transport, IT connectivity and green energy. We are looking forward to seeing what creative solutions communities propose for funding."

The closing date for applications is October 1 givingeligible projects nearly a year to apply. The long lead in is to give applicants time to work closely with other organisations and with people suffering poverty in rural areas in order to plan their project.

To find out more about how to apply for the new round of grants interested groups can visit the organisation's website at www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/ruralprogramme .