In September 2022, the government launched the Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF) prospectus as an addition to the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. We were allocated £487,936 to spend between 2023 and 2025 on capital interventions in our rural areas as part of the REPF. 25% of the fund has to be spent in 2023/24 and 75% in 2023/25.
Our addendum sets out that we will allocate:
- £121,984 to support Rural Communities
- £365,952 to support Rural Businesses
We have been advised that we can expect to receive funding by mid-May 2023 with the aim of opening for applications on 1 July 2023.
Projects must be in a rural area. For fund purposes, rural areas are:
- 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
We are required to use the Defra magic map to determine rural areas.
The following are eligible to apply subject to their location being applicable:
- local authorities
- public sector organisations
- higher and further education institutions
- private sector companies
- voluntary organisations
- registered charities
Amount of grant
Grants of a minimum of £5,000 up to £65,000 are available to eligible organisations. A match fund of 20% will be required to be discussed with one of our Rural Business Advisors.
We cannot support projects that have received funding from other Defra schemes. This includes:
- The Farming in Protected Landscapes Programme
- The Farming Investment Fund
- The Platinum Jubilee Village Hall Improvement Grant Fund
We cannot support projects or costs where there is a statutory duty to provide them
Grants for the following will be considered for funding amongst others:
- Capital grants for sustainable kitchens in community hubs which can support food and drink entrepreneurs to get accreditation for food production
- Capital grants to establish or enhance community gardens and green spaces
- Capital grants to develop, restore or refurbish local natural, cultural and heritage assets and sites
- Improving visitor experience and accessibility such as providing all terrain wheelchairs
- Capital grants to enable the provision of venues to host creative events
- Creation of new footpaths and cycle paths
- Capital grants to set up community led cafes or workshops including tools and equipment
- Capital grants to purchase equipment for local volunteering groups
- Installing EV charging points for the local community
- Retrofitting community buildings to reduce energy consumption and emissions e.g., installing insulation, double glazing, or solar panels
- Creation of event venues or farm tourism facilities such as accommodation, wedding venues and leisure facilities including pet and equine facilities
- Purchase of equipment for food processing for non-farmed own businesses such as brewery equipment, modernising existing kitchen equipment, onsite vending machines
- Capital grants for equipment to support showcasing of local food and drink products
- Capital grants to equip development kitchens or modernise existing kitchen equipment for increased energy efficiency or increased productivity through automation
- Capital grants to develop local tourist attractions such as information boards and visitor centres
- Provision of premises for community owned shops
- Electric vehicle charging points
- Conversion of farm buildings to other business uses
Organisations will be invited to complete an Expression of Interest form.
- Applications will be reviewed in order of receipt
- A business advisor will make contact to discuss the project further and how the grant will help with developing the objectives
- Outputs and outcomes will be agreed to ensure that the project funded will deliver the required investment priorities
Those that meet the criteria will be invited to submit a full application. Supporting evidence required at full application stage include:
- Organisation details including any relevant registration or reference numbers i.e., companies house, social enterprise or charity registration
- Contact details for two key people within the organisation
- Bank account details including current bank statement
- 2 years certified accounts or management accounts
Snapshot business plan to include:
- a short project summary
- project objectives
- predicted impacts
- a cost break down
- project timescales
- monitoring reports including risk assessment
Full applications will be assessed by a panel made up of experienced Officers from Stafford Borough Council and Staffordshire County Council.
The timescale will be published following receipt of funding from government. Applications will not open until we receive this approval.
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