Funding is available to support rural businesses and communities via the Rural England Prosperity Fund which has been launched by DEFRA.
The Rural England Prosperity Fund aims to support capital projects for small businesses and community infrastructure, to help improve productivity and strengthen the rural economy and rural communities.
Capital funding is available for:
- New and existing rural businesses to develop new products and facilities of wider benefit to the local economy, including farm businesses looking to diversify.
- New and improved community infrastructure to provide essential community services and assets for local people and businesses to benefit the local economy.
Applicants must use funding on capital projects, which means spending grants on lasting assets such as a building or equipment.
Grants must be for business or community purposes, and grants cannot be used to fund domestic property improvements or to purchase private vehicles.
Grants cannot be spent on revenue costs such as running costs or promotional activities.
Projects must be in a rural area, meaning:
- Towns, villages and hamlets with populations below 10,000 and the wider countryside.
- Market or ‘hub towns’ with populations of up to 30,000 that serve their surrounding rural areas as centres of employment and in providing services.
How to apply
The Rural England Prosperity Fund is administered by eligible local authorities and may operate differently within local authority areas.
Details from Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council and Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council are yet to be announced.
The Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF) is complementary to the Government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF), which aims to support productivity and prosperity in places that need it most.
REPF applicants may be able to use revenue funding from UKSPF allocations to support the capital from the REPF Fund top-up.
This must be consistent with your local UKSPF investment plans.
You can find out whether you are based in an eligible rural area by using Defra’s magic map tool.
A list of example project types which may be eligible for funding is available here.