In September 2022, the Government announced the creation of the Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF) allocating £110m over a two year period from April 2023 to March 2025. This funding is specifically ring fenced for rural areas.
A number of local authorities have been allocated funding and the CLA has been involved in developing the criteria or inputting to the application process in some cases.
The REPF is a capital only grants programme and each local authority, whilst operating under DEFRA guidance, has been given the flexibility to allocate funding according to local priorities.
Although each area may differ in how they decide to allocate the funding and intervention rates, as a rough guide the following principles should give you an idea of the key points if you're considering an application:
- Projects must be in a rural area
- Funding is generally between £5,000 - £50,000
- Funding is generally provided at 50% of the project costs
Some examples of eligible projects are:
- 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 develop local tourist attractions such as information boards and visitor centres
- Electric vehicle charging points
- Conversion of farm buildings to other business use
Not all local authorities have provided us with information on the scheme details or dates for applications.
For further information, please contact Helen Dale in the Midlands office.
Please be aware that the information in this blog was up to date at the time of publishing. We do try to update historical blog information regularly. If you would like further information on a particular subject, please contact the office on 01785 337010