Urgent Telephone 4pm - 8.30am : 01233 331111

Second round of Rural England Prosperity Fund now open for applications

Published: 15/05/2024
Countryside image with hills and sky

Ashford Borough Council has re-opened grant applications from the UK Government’s Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF) for businesses in rural areas of the borough.

This second round of funding will build on the success of the first round, which saw six businesses receive funding for energy transition projects such as solar panels, as well as eight businesses having funding approved for equipment and installations to improve tourism and hospitality venues.

The first round of grants are set to lead to over 26,000 kg of CO2 saved in the borough and an average 25% increase in visitors to those rural destinations, as well as utility bills being reduced for businesses, increased turnover and jobs created.

Ashford’s REPF grants aimed at supporting rural businesses in the borough are:

  • Rural Green Business Grant – to provide grants to support energy efficiency or energy transition projects in commercial premises in rural parts of the borough.
  • Rural Place and Provenance Grant – to provide grants to support rural food and drink producers, tourism and hospitality businesses to improve productivity and operational processes. To support the creation of start-up spaces for food and drink producers and help tackle the 'last-mile' challenge to increase visitor numbers to rural destinations.

Applications are opening in rounds, with the second round now open until 11:59pm Sunday 30 June 2024.

Head to our Rural England Prosperity Fund webpage for more details, including eligibility. 

Rural England Prosperity Fund is linked to the Government’s Levelling Up agenda with REPF activity falling within two categories, ‘supporting rural communities’ and ‘supporting rural businesses’. Further information about these funds, and other Government community funds, is available on the Government website.

Leader of Ashford Borough Council and Cabinet Member for Prosperity and Resource, Cllr Noel Ovenden said: “The Rural England Prosperity Fund scheme represents a good avenue for Ashford Borough Council to support our communities and businesses in these challenging times.

“I hope following the success of the first round of applications, more businesses are encouraged to apply for these grants which can help tackle key issues faced in rural parts of the borough, support our move to net zero and create opportunities for people outside of the Ashford urban area.”