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 - Funding available July 2023 to March 2024
- £365,952 to support Rural Businesses - Funding available April 2024 to March 2025
Applications are now closed for community projects to be considered for the current round of funding available. We are operating a waiting list should further funding become available. Community projects wishing to be added to the waiting list can still apply.
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.
How to check a postcode
Use Magic Map Application (defra.gov.uk) to check postcode eligibility for the fund.
- Under ‘Table of Contents’ select ‘Administrative Geographies’ then ‘Other Administrative Boundaries’ then select ‘Rural England Prosperity Fund’ (REPF).
- Search for a location by entering the postcode within the search bar (top left of page) and selecting it from the drop down or manually zoom in on a location.
- From the toolbar of icons above the map select the (i) ‘Identify’ icon and click on the exact location of your project. A pop-up box will appear showing the site check results as A RURAL AREA for the purposes of REPF or NOT A RURAL AREA for the purposes of REPF.
For assistance, please email email@example.com.
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
Applicants will need to confirm that they have not received over £315,000 from public funds during the current and previous two financial years, as this is one of the required conditions to allow applicants to apply for funding.
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
- 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
- Two years certified accounts or management accounts
- Three quotes for each item to be funded to demonstrate best value for money
Snapshot business plan to include:
- A short project summary
- Project objectives
- Predicted impacts
- A cost break down
- Project timescales
- Monitoring reports including risk assessment
Applicants are advised to read the Rural England Prosperity Fund Policy (pdf 139kb) before completing the application form.
If your application does not contain the full information or required evidence then priority for assessment will be given to those with complete applications.
Please note funding will not automatically be offered.
Only if the council thinks an expression of interest (EoI) project idea fits with the government intervention(s) and the district’s needs, shall the offer to complete a full project proposal be requested.
Full applications will be assessed by a panel made up of experienced Officers from Stafford Borough Council and Staffordshire County Council.
Project ideas that deliver the greatest economic, environmental and social benefits will score highest.
Support will be available to anyone who needs help with the next stage of the process.
Projects must be completed by 31 December 2024, to claim and report on outputs and outcomes by March 2025.
Incomplete projects cannot be funded.
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