Apply for funding to support rural business and community projects

PUBLISHED: 30 May 2023

Colchester City Council (CCC) is inviting applications and expressions of interest for a share of the Rural England Prosperity Fund grant scheme, which opens on Tuesday, 30 May 2023 at 12pm.

In September 2022, the government launched the Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF). The fund acknowledges the unique challenges that rural areas often encounter, such as lower productivity, inadequate connectivity, and limited access to essential services.

CCC was awarded £532,195 to spend between 2023 and 2025 on interventions in rural areas to provide capital support to promote growth and diversification. Approximately £372,500 has been allocated to support rural businesses and around £160,000 to enhance rural community infrastructure and strengthen rural communities.

Broadly, the funding can support new and existing rural businesses to develop new products and facilities that will be of wider benefit to the local economy as well as new and improved community infrastructure, providing services and assets for local people and businesses to benefit the local economy. 

Projects must address one or more of the REPF strategic priorities and schemes that deliver the greatest economic, environmental and social benefits will be prioritised.

The money will be available for defined rural areas outside the city boundary.

The money has a short time-limit associated with it, and as such the council is inviting 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.

Cllr Alison Jay, Portfolio Holder for Economy, Transformation and Performance, said: “Rural communities throughout Colchester face a multitude of challenges that differ from those in the more urban areas, but with these challenges also come unique opportunities.

“This invitation to apply for funding is a great opportunity for local organisations, who understand and are best equipped to propose innovative solutions, to make a real difference in the lives of those living in these areas.

“Their inclusion in the Levelling Up process is crucial, and this funding is a vital component in achieving that objective.

“We look forward to receiving applications and assisting organisations in delivering some significant schemes.”

Further information on the fund, eligibility, and guidance on how to apply can be found on our website

Small grant applications close at 5pm on Tuesday, 29 August 2023.

For any enquiries, please email the Economic Development team on

Page last reviewed: 30 May 2023


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