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grants to support rural business 15 Dec 2023 Council launch grants to support rural business growth in West Northamptonshire

West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) has launched a Rural Business Grants programme to support businesses in the most rural parts of West Northants to diversify and grow.

Utilising £919,772 of UK Shared Prosperity (UKSPF) and Rural England Prosperity Funding (REPF), this programme will provide up to 50% of equal match-funding of between £2,500 and £100,000 to businesses located in Defra’s designated rural areas within West Northamptonshire.

Grants can be used to support the building and equipment of capital projects, for example converting a farm building for an alternative business use such as a business hub, wedding venue or for hospitality; growing rural tourism; the acquisition of food and drink processing equipment; or the purchase of commercial grade equipment to increase productivity. All projects and expenditure must be complete by 31 March 2025.

To secure a grant, applicants will need to check the eligibility criteria on the WNC website and complete an online application form. This will be appraised with a final decision made by a Grant Decisions Panel which will include representatives from both local businesses and the Council.

The Rural England Prosperity Fund is a ‘top up’ to the UK Shared Prosperity Fund provided by Defra and managed for the Government by the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) to support the Government’s levelling up agenda. It is intended to provide investment for identified rural areas facing additional challenges and can be used alongside UKSPF funding.

Cllr Daniel Lister, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration and Growth, said: "We appreciate the unique challenges rural businesses face which is why we’ve chosen to dedicate this funding to support and enable them to diversify and grow.

“Our ambition is to enable every business in West Northamptonshire to thrive and for this reason we have allocated the majority of our UK Shared Prosperity and Rural England Prosperity funding towards supporting businesses and creating employment opportunities to sustain the local economy.

“We are dedicated to providing high quality support, training and guidance and wherever possible, funding to enable our local businesses to fulfil their potential and I encourage all those who qualify for this match-funded grant to apply.”

The Council has appointed Ngage Solutions Ltd to manage the Rural Business Grants programme.

Will Dallimore, Rural Business Development Manager at Ngage Solutions Ltd, said: “This is a great opportunity for rural businesses in West Northamptonshire and I look forward to supporting businesses through the process.

“Ngage Solutions has worked with rural businesses in West Northamptonshire for over 7 years through the LEADER project and it will be my pleasure to continue this support and deliver the Rural England Prosperity Fund which will provide a well-needed boost for the rural economy.”

Full details of all UKSPF and REPF funded projects in West Northamptonshire can be found on the WNC website.

Contact Information

West Northamptonshire Council Communications Team
[email protected]