Rural England Prosperity Fund Grants
UK Shared Prosperity Fund
Rural areas often face specific challenges including lower productivity rates, poorer connectivity and poorer access to key services.
The Rural Fund supports the aims of the Government’s Levelling Up White Paper and Future Farming Programme. It funds capital projects for small businesses and community infrastructure. This aims to improve productivity and strengthen the rural economy and rural communities.
The Rural Fund is integrated into the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) which supports productivity and prosperity in places that need it most. The Rural Fund is a rural top-up to UKSPF allocations. It supports activities that specifically address the particular challenges rural areas face. It is complementary to funding used to support rural areas under the UKSPF.
Any organisation with legal status can apply for funding to deliver a Rural Fund intervention. This may include: local authorities; public sector organisations; higher and further education institutions; private sector companies; voluntary organisations; registered charities; and, arms-length bodies of Government.
The Rural Fund provides capital funding to spend on lasting assets such as a building or equipment that:
- support rural businesses to develop new products and facilities that will be of wider benefit to the local economy. This includes farm businesses looking to diversify income streams.
- support new and improved community infrastructure, providing essential community services and assets for local people and businesses to benefit the local economy.
- 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-farm owned 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
- conversion of farm buildings to other business uses
The Government has designated the eligible rural areas in South Derbyshire – these can be viewed at: https://magic.defra.gov.uk/ (under Administrative Geographies/Other Administrative Boundaries - the REPF Status can be checked by clicking on the Identity button which is the 5th one along at the top).
South Derbyshire has been awarded £400,000 to be spent between April 2023 and March 2025 and has allocated half to support rural communities and half to support rural small businesses. The grant application process is the same as for the Shared Prosperity Fund grants:
- For community grants a guide to the criteria, application process and conditions of funding can be found here: Community Grants | South Derbyshire District Council Applicants who consider their project to be eligible after reading the Guidance document can request an application form from the Community Partnership Officer by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org The REPF allocation for third sector organisations will be awarded to projects in the designated rural areas with a maximum grant of £25,000 per project and a limit of one award per organisation/venue during the lifetime of the scheme, plus additional weighting given in the assessment process to projects located in Lower Super Output Areas that have higher Index of Multiple Deprivation 2019 scores and/or that have received lesser amounts of Community Partnership Fund monies in the past 3 years. A copy of the deprivation map can be found via the following link: https://observatory.derbyshire.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/reports/maps/deprivation/South_Derbyshire_2019.pdf
- For business grants full details, including eligible activities and organisations can be found in the Guidance Document (pdf, 436kb). Applicants who have read the Guidance Document, can follow the link to submit an Expression of Interest. For any queries, please contact: email@example.com
Please note that the Fund cannot support projects that have received funding from other Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs schemes. This includes:
- The Farming Investment Fund - grants to improve productivity and bring environmental benefits, covering 2 funds - the Farming Equipment and Technology Fund and the Farming Transformation Fund.
- The Platinum Jubilee Village Hall Improvement Grant Fund - grant funding over 3 years (to 2025) to support capital improvement projects for village halls, covering extending buildings and modernising facilities.
The Rural England Prosperity Fund is funded by the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.
The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a central pillar of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025. The Fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills. For more information visit:
For further information about the Rural England Prosperity Fund visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/rural-england-prosperity-fund-prospectus/rural-england-prosperity-fund-prospectus