On May 1, two development programmes, Rural Renaissance initiative and Sustain the Plain, celebrate their achievements as they draw to a close and a bid for a new programme is born.

The doors open at 11.00 to a large variety of people representing public and private life in Wiltshire. Many projects will be displaying their wares and over the course of an hour they will be competing for time with a quick fire series of snapshot presentations.

Since 2002, the two programmes have together brought over £5m to Salisbury Plain and Wiltshire. They have funded a large variety of individual projects, all seeking to enhance the quality of life of local people, through creating employment, providing training and supporting and promoting community activities over a very wide spectrum.

The Rural Renaissance initiative has invested in a range of schemes to promote regeneration of rural Wiltshire. To take measure of their achievements, many of the projects will be present to demonstrate their success, including a mentoring scheme for emerging entrepreneurs; the transformation of redundant farm buildings into modern useable workspaces, a village based training and skills centre and the Motorsports Centre at Castle Combe which has become one of the UK's primary advanced engineering colleges.

Sustain the Plain is funded by the European Union and DEFRA and has run from 2002, concentrating on promotion of culture and heritage, and quality of life. It has operated around Salisbury Plain and the adjacent towns, very much in the context of the military presence. One of its key aims remains to promote integration and co-operation between the military and civilian worlds both in terms of organisations and individuals. Sustain the Plain is launching on 1st May a celebratory and copiously illustrated document setting out its achievements.

The day finishes with a new start, a series of workshops which will form the basis of a new bid for the Salisbury Plain area under a new funding programme called 'Local Action.' This is part of the overall EU support for rural development and runs to 2013. The bid goes in on 23rd May, and if successful a new programme will be in operation around Salisbury Plain by October, working closely with the military, business, public and community sectors.