Rural England Prosperity Fund
What is this for?
“The application window for this grant has now closed for 2023/24. We are confident that further funding will be available under this scheme in 2024/25. Once we are sure of this we will update this page with details of the next application window.
If you have any further enquiries in the meantime, please contact the team at Business Doncaster using the details at the bottom of this page”.
The Rural England Prosperity Fund (otherwise referred to as "Rural Prosperity Fund") is a capital grant programme integrated into the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) and supports activities that specifically address some of the challenges faced by our local rural areas*
*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.
- Eligible areas for the Rural Fund can be identified using DEFRA’s ‘Magic Maps’ tool.
Aims of the Fund
The Rural Prosperity Fund objectives sit within the UKSPF investment priorities for:
- Supporting Local Business.
- Community and Place.
The Fund supports the aims of the government’s Levelling Up White Paper and Future Farming Programme and funds capital projects for micro and small businesses which will help to improve productivity and strengthen the rural economy.
Doncaster has been allocated £634,307 as part of this fund. This has been split 40% in 2023/24 (£253,723) and 60% in 2024/25 (£380,584). This is to provide capital grant funding (investment in buildings, plant, equipment and machinery) across two themes:
- Capital grant funding for small scale investment in micro and small enterprises in rural areas,including capital funding for net zero infrastructure and diversification outside of agriculture to encourage start up, expansion or scale up of these businesses where this involves converting farm buildings into other commercial or business use
- Capital grant funding for developing and promoting the visitor economy (including local attractions, trails and tourism products more generally)
Grants of between £2,500 - £12,499 will be available, but you must be able to match any funding that you are applying for with your own funds. Payments are made at the end of the process, so you will need to be able to fund the project fully by yourself before any reimbursements are made. In exceptional cases we may consider applications for larger grants, however you must be able to demonstrate that your project significantly contributes to the outcomes of the scheme.
Applications will be assessed on a first come, first served basis and subject to funding still being available
Only businesses that fall into specified rural post codes will be eligible to apply (see “Before you apply” below for further details)
Your project must be located within the administrative boundary of Doncaster Council.
You will not be eligible to apply for funding for projects that are already receiving grant funding from other DEFRA schemes.
You will not be eligible to apply for grant funding for any project work that has already started or has been completed.
Before you apply
Please ensure that you have read and understood the accompanying guidance document:
- RPF Grant Application Guidance
- Download (411KB - PDF)
You will not be able to save the progress of your application and return to it at a later date, so please ensure that you have all of the required information, as detailed in the guidance notes, to hand before you start
The RPF Grant Application Guidance document (download above) explains how to use the Magic Maps application.
What is it going to cost?
There is no charge to complete the application form however you must be able to match any funding that you are applying for with your own funds. Payments are made at the end of the process, so you will need to be able to fund the project fully by yourself before any reimbursements are made.
What we need from you
- Details about your business including turnover, number of employees, which sector you operate in and any relevant reference numbers (such as VAT ref, Companies House ref, Unique Taxpayer Ref etc).
- Details of your project including how it will contribute to one of the two themes mentioned above, location of the project, whether the project requires planning permission, associated costs, expected start and end dates etc. - If you have already drafted a detailed project plan you will be able to upload a digital copy of this as part of the application process (Nb. the upload is limited to one single document).
- Competitive quotes for any works being undertaken, preferably from local suppliers/contractors where possible (nb. your chosen contractor/supplier cannot be linked to you or your business).
What you should expect from us
Following submission, a grant decision panel will determine the application.
The team will undertake financial due diligence checks against your business and you will be asked to provide any quotes that you have obtained
If your grant application is determined as successful, you will be sent a funding agreement, vendor form and any other necessary documents.
Once you have signed and returned the necessary documents and these have been acknowledged, you will be authorised to proceed with any works.
If there are any unauthorised changes to your project, the grant offer may be withdrawn and no funding will be paid.
If you cannot provide the necessary evidence (such as paid invoices and evidence of defrayal within the timescales required, this also may result in the grant offer being withdrawn and no funding being paid.
If you need any further information or assistance, please contact the Business Doncaster team:
Tel: 01302 735555