Rural areas of South Kesteven are to benefit from an extra £540,460 of Government funding to help meet their specific needs and challenges.
The Rural England Prosperity Fund, known as the Rural Fund, is in addition to the £3.9m already allocated to South Kesteven through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund as part of the Government’s Levelling Up commitment.
The Rural Fund provides capital funding to support:
- new and existing rural businesses to develop products and facilities which benefit the wider local economy
- new and improved community infrastructure, providing essential community services and assets for local people and businesses
South Kesteven District Council Leader Cllr Kelham Cooke said: “I am delighted by the Government’s recognition of the challenges we face in our rural areas – and it is now SKDC’s responsibility to put this money to work for the district.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to help South Kesteven to grow. A growing population and a growing economy creates jobs, secures infrastructure and attracts further investment across our district, helping to create a thriving area for us all to enjoy.”
Grantham & Stamford MP Gareth Davies said: “I am pleased that our area has received further Government funding to support our rural economy. There are undoubtedly a number of challenges facing our area of which some of these issues can be met through the Rural Prosperity Fund.
“This will be a very welcome boost supporting our local businesses and I look forward to working with South Kesteven District Council in ensuring this allocation of funding helps those who most need our support.”
South Kesteven District Council’s economic development team, InvestSK, will now seek opinions from rural partners and businesses to help refine its spending plan. The Council has until the end of November to submit specific projects to the Government for endorsement. Among businesses that may be eligible for grants under the scheme are farms looking to diversify by opening a farm shop, wedding venue or tourism facilities.
Rural areas covered under the funding initiative are towns, villages and hamlets with populations below 10,000 and their wider countryside, as well as market/hub towns with populations of up to 30,000 that serve their surrounding rural areas as centres of employment and service provision.
The funding is available from April 2023 to March 2025.