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Rural businesses and community organisations can apply for a share of £400,000

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Applications are now open for small rural businesses, community organisations, parish & town councils in Stroud district to apply for a share of a £400,000 fund.

Stroud District Council has been awarded £100,000 for 2023-24 and £300,000 for 2024-25 by the Government’s Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF).

Eligible organisations can apply for grant of £3,000 – £20,000. The funding is for capital projects and must be spent on lasting assets such as a building or equipment. In most cases 60% match funding will be required.

The fund aims to address some specific challenges facing micro and small businesses and to help them create jobs and boost community cohesion.

For community group awards, the fund is seeking to invest in activities that enhance physical, cultural and social ties and amenities.

Stroud district is home to around 6,000 businesses, the majority of which employ less than 10 people, and thousands of eligible community groups.

Cllr Catherine Braun, Stroud District Council leader said: “I’m delighted that we can provide this funding to support small rural businesses across a whole range of sectors. Eligible business projects include innovation activities, job creation, enhancing local tourism and the action that is urgently needed to transition to a low carbon economy.”

Cllr Natalie Bennett, Deputy Leader added: “A key priority in our Council Plan is community resilience and wellbeing – strengthening and supporting our communities so people feel included and connected.

“Therefore I’m pleased the REPF also aims to fund community projects that foster a sense of local pride and belonging though activities that enhance physical, cultural and social amenities.

“I urge all eligible community groups to consider how this funding could help them by making improvements to local green spaces, community infrastructure or community-led events or projects.”

The following organisations are eligible to apply for REPF:

  • Micro-businesses (fewer than 10 employees)
  • Small businesses (fewer than 250 employees)
  • Social enterprises & Community Interest Companies
  • Town & Parish councils
  • Registered charities
  • Public sector organisations
  • Higher and further education institutions
  • Constituted community / voluntary groups.

REPF will be of interest to organisations operating in the following areas:

  • Tourism & the visitor economy
  • Heritage
  • Farm diversification
  • Co-working spaces, networking groups & shared workspaces
  • Food & drink entrepreneurs, breweries
  • Pet/equine facilities & health
  • Arts & cultural organisations, galleries, museums, libraries
  • Community shops & hubs
  • Community gardens, green spaces
  • Repair cafes & mend workshops.

The provisional grant dates are:

ActivityRound OneRound Two
Application submission deadline01/12/202317/01/2024
Assessment period01/12 – 8/12/202317/01 – 24/01/2024
Grants Panel12/12/2023*25/01/2024*
Grant Funding Agreements issued for review and signatureBy 12/12/2023By 01/02/2024
Deadline for return of signed Grant Funding AgreementsBy 5/01/2024By 19/02/2024
Spend to be confirmed **grant will be available 7 – 14 days after confirmation of spend28/02/202428/02/2024

*subject to availability of a grants panel quorum.

Find out whether your organisation is eligible to apply for the funding on the SDC website: www.stroud.gov.uk/REPF

Application forms and grant enquiries can be sent to economic.development@stroud.gov.uk

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