Rural Communities in England are set to benefit from an extra £110 million between 2023 and 2025, in local authority funding to support rural business, community groups and create rural jobs. The Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF) announced on 7th April 2023, is part of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, £2.6 billion of new funding for local investment to support levelling up across the UK. The funding is to help people start up local businesses to grow and create employment opportunities for rural areas.
Across rural England, the money will be spent on two key areas:
Supporting local business: projects to support agricultural businesses looking to expand their remit, and rural businesses looking to launch or grow their products and services.
Communities and place: projects to improve community facilities such as green spaces and boost access to arts and culture to grow local tourism economies.
Eligible local authorities in England will receive the funding, which can be invested in initiatives such as farm diversification, projects to boost rural tourism, and community infrastructure projects including electric vehicle charging stations.
Confirmed allocations include:
Over £5 million for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
£3m for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
Over £3 million for North of Tyne.
Over £2.5 million for West Yorkshire.
£2.5 million for Shropshire.
Almost £1 million for Cheshire East.
Local Authorities will work closely with rural entrepreneurs to maximise the opportunities of the REPF, identifying opportunities to generate economic growth – creating good jobs and strengthening communities.This is part of ‘Delivering for Rural England’ rural proofing report, which sets out how rural challenges and opportunities are part of the government’s approach to levelling up.