Colchester has been awarded £532,195 by the Rural England Prosperity Fund to facilitate projects that address the particular challenges that rural areas face. The additional allocation is part of the government’s Levelling Up funding and comes following the submission of an addendum to the City Council’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund Investment Plan.
The programme will provide capital support to new and existing rural businesses to promote growth and diversification, as well as to community infrastructure projects, to strengthen the rural economy and rural communities.
The money will be available to ‘rural’ areas outside the ‘city’ boundary (including towns, villages and hamlets with populations of less than 10,000 people or towns with a population of up to 30,000 people that serve their surrounding rural areas).
The money has a short time limit associated with it, and as such the council will invite applications from businesses and community groups that can demonstrate delivery of the desired outcomes by March 2025. It is therefore likely that these projects will be at a mature stage of development, with consideration already given to securing wider funding and support and processes such as planning applications.
Further details of local grant funding opportunities through REPF will be shared by the City Council in due course.
A Colchester City Council spokesperson said: “This money is essential in ensuring that the rural communities in Colchester can be involved in the Levelling Up process. Rural communities face different challenges to those in the city centre and it is essential that we are able to support them to access important resources. We look forward to receiving the applications and helping organisations to deliver some important schemes.
Page last reviewed: 18 April 2023