Organisations in rural areas of Stafford Borough looking to launch ambitious projects to help the local economy could be in line for a £65,000 boost towards their schemes.
Nearly half a million pounds has been secured by Stafford Borough Council from a Government pot - the Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF) - and is ring-fenced to help organisations and businesses in villages and rural areas.
The money is earmarked for ‘capital’ projects - for example buildings or equipment - and those that can apply include private sector companies, voluntary groups, registered charities, and public sector organisations.
£5,000 is the minimum grant that can be applied for up to a maximum of £65,000 - and recipients will be expected to match part of the cost of the project from their own funds.
The latest round of money is on top of the £4.5m the local authority was awarded from the Government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) after successfully putting forward schemes to help regeneration, climate change and culture - and was one of the largest amounts given to a borough council from the UKSPF.
The total REPF allocation to the council was £487,936. It can only be spent in towns, villages, and hamlets with populations below 10,000 - although applications can be considered for market towns which serve surrounding rural areas.
If you are interested in putting a project forward you can find more information at www.staffordbc.gov.uk/rural-england-prosperity-fund
It follows hot on the heels of a scheme rolled out last month by the borough council to help fund small and medium rural businesses who receive most of their income from sales to other businesses.
Councillor Ant Reid, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Planning, encouraged businesses and organisations to tell the council they are interested in this latest grant.
“There is a significant amount of investment coming into Stafford Borough which is good news for the economy. But we are also able to help local businesses and organisations grow and this latest fund will support those who have ambitious projects but require that extra financial support to see their ideas come to fruition.
“And we are keen for organisations, groups and rural enterprises to get in touch with us as this money can support capital projects which will ultimately bring benefits to the wider rural community.”
The council’s website lists a host of examples of what the capital grant can be spent on such as:
- Developing or restoring local natural, cultural and heritage assets and sites
- Creation of new footpaths and cycle paths
- Setting up community led cafes or workshops including tools and equipment
- Installing electric vehicle charging points
- Developing tourist assets such as information boards and visitor centres
- Conversion of farm buildings to other business uses
Councillor Reid added: “We have a significant rural community with businesses and organisations who face greater challenges because of their location but play an important role in the economy of our borough - and I am pleased this funding will be able to support them.”
Businesses can also find out about other grants and support available to them from www.staffordbc.gov.uk/business-advice
Press Release No 6052