Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF)

In September 2022, the Government launched the Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF) prospectus as an addition to the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF). In November 2022, the District Council submitted an addendum to our UKSPF Investment Plan to secure an additional £714,251 of capital funding. We have since received confirmation of this funding which will be allocated over the next two financial years, 2023/24 (25%) and 2024/25 (75%) to capital interventions to support our rural communities and business enterprises as part of the REPF.

To find out more about the fund please refer to the Government REPF prospectus and the Bassetlaw District Council Guidance Document for the Full Application stages below.

The key dates are as follows:

Full application open call opens: 15 April 2024 at 12noon

Full application open call closes: 15 May 2024 at 12noon

To request a copy of the REPF Full Application Form please email the UKSPF@bassetlaw.gov.uk

If you have any questions about the Bassetlaw REPF guidance document or the application form then please send your questions to the UKSPF@bassetlaw.gov.uk

 

Guidance document

Community and Business Investment Programme 2024-2025

Guidance for Full Application Process for 2024-2025

Year 

Fund Allocation – Community 

Fund Allocation – Business 

2024 - 25 

£20,597.50

 

REC2: Funding focus on EV and improved accessibility

 

REC5: Funding focus on maker spaces, galleries and cultural/heritage

 

£89,490.00

 

REB1: Funding (capital grants) for small scale investment in micro and small enterprises in rural areas.

REB3: Funding focus on trails, tourism and visitor economy

 

Full application open call opens: 15 April 2024 at 12noon

Full application open call closes: 15 May 2024 at 12noon

Contents

 

Aims of the REPF

The funding has been split into two equal allocations of £357,125, over or across the two financial years, with one pot supporting rural communities’ projects and the other, rural enterprises (micro and small businesses employing up to 49 people) in rural areas of Bassetlaw.

The REPF recognises the specific challenges facing our rural areas, including:

  • Low productivity rates
  • Poorer connectivity
  • Poorer access to key services

The Rural Fund supports the aims of the government’s Levelling Up White Paper and Future Farming Programme. It funds capital projects for small businesses and community infrastructure. This will help to improve productivity and strengthen the rural economy and rural communities.

The Rural Fund objectives sit within the UKSPF investment priorities for:

  • Supporting Local Business
  • Community and Place

They also relate to 2 of the Levelling Up White Paper Missions:

  • Mission 1 – Living standards
  • Mission 9 – Pride in place

Any projects should align to the objectives of REPF. This includes:

  • The UK’s commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050
  • Wider environmental considerations, such as resilience to natural hazards
  • The 25-Year Environment Plan Commitments

The Rural Fund provides capital funding to:

Support new and existing rural businesses to develop new products and facilities that will be of wider benefit to the local economy. This includes farm businesses looking to diversify income streams.

Support new and improved community infrastructure, providing essential community services and assets for local people and businesses to benefit the local economy.

  • Support new and existing rural businesses to develop new products and facilities that will be of wider benefit to the local economy
  • Support new and improved infrastructure
  • Support projects in rural area

Who can apply?

  • Micro and small businesses employing 49 employees or fewer (1 FTE equates to individual working 30 hours or more)
  • Registered charities/community associations
  • Parish Councils
  • Higher and further education institutions
  • Charitable Incorporated Organisations (CIO)
  • Community Interest Companies (CIC) limited by guarantee (and have charitable objectives)
  • Community Benefit Societies (Bencom)
  • Constituted Community Groups
  • Faith Groups, where the activity is not promoting religion
  • Small groups with no formal constitution (non-constituted groups will be considered on a case-by-case basis)

Projects we may fund

This guidance document covers the eligibility and application guidance for both the communities and business enterprise grants.

The funding must be used on capital projects. This means grants must be spent on lasting assets such as a building or equipment.

Grants must be for business or community purposes. Grants cannot be used to fund domestic property improvements or to buy private vehicles. Grants cannot be spent on revenue costs such as running costs or promotional activities.

Please note that, subject to available funding, there may be multiple calls for applications throughout the programme.

The District Council will be considering historic investment in an area when making decisions if the volume of applications is high.

Project list

Business

This list is not exhaustive, but the fund could provide funding (capital grants) for:

  • creating event venues or farm tourism facilities such as accommodation, wedding venues and leisure facilities
  • provision of facilities for pet and equines such as kennels, livery and pet health venues
  • Purchase of equipment for food processing for non-farmer-owned businesses. For example:
    • purchasing new process and packaging machinery such as brewing equipment and onsite vending machines
    • equipping development kitchens, or modernising existing kitchen equipment for increased energy efficiency or increased productivity through automation
  • development and promotion (both trade and consumer) of the visitor economy, such as local attractions, trails and tourism products;
  • development of local visitor trails and infrastructure to support this, such as information boards, visitor centres, development of tourist attractions and visitor experiences;

Community

This list is not exhaustive, but the fund could provide funding (capital grants) for the:

  • provision of net zero infrastructure for rural communities and to support rural tourism activity for example, EV chargers, community energy schemes such as biomass heat pumps or solar.
  • capital grants for kitchens in community hubs which are capable of supporting food and drink;
  • capital spend which supports activities that enhance physical, cultural and social ties;
  • funding for provision of maker spaces;
  • funding for local art galleries, museums and libraries for altering premises or providing spaces for exhibitions to support displays for artists to showcase work;
  • capital grants to enable cultural, heritage and creative events and provision of venues for locally-led music, theatre, tours, author events and film screenings.

Please ensure you have read the attached list of all REPF Project Interventions in Appendix A.

Wide Eligibility

Definition of rural area:

  • The project needs to be located in the district of Bassetlaw and serving the district area
  • Not all areas of Bassetlaw are eligible to receive rural funding as determined by DEFRA. Businesses must be located in a rural area which are defined as:
    • 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
  • To determine whether your project is in a rural area, and therefore eligible for the REPF, open the link to the DEFRA’s Magic Map and follow the instructions below:
    • Magic map
    • Under ‘Tables of Contents’ expand ‘Administration Geographies’ > ‘Other Administration Boundaries > select ‘Rural England Prosperity Fund’
    • To search for a location either enter the postcode or manually zoom in on a location
    • You will find a tool of icons at the top of the application. Select the ‘Identify’ icon and click on the location of your project on the map. A pop-up box will appear notifying you if the area is considered rural or not for the purpose of REPF.
  • Your project should demonstrate value for money and additionally, and align to one or more of the REPF Investment Priorities listed in Appendix A.

Projects that the REPF cannot support

  • Projects that have received funding from other Defra Schemes. This includes:
    • The Farming in Protected Landscape Programme – funding for farmers and land managers to work in partnership with National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty bodies to deliver projects on climate, nature, people and place
    • The Farming Investment Fund – grants to improve productivity and bring environmental benefits, covering two funds – the Farming Equipment and Technology Fund and Farming Transformation Fund
    • The Platinum Jubilee Village Hall Improvement Grant Fund – grant funding over three years, to 2025, to support capital improvement projects for village halls, covering extending buildings and modernising facilities
  • The purchase of equipment for food processing for farmer-owned businesses. Support for farmer-owned businesses is available under the Farming Investment Fund
  • Projects that have already been successful in receiving funding from Rural England Prosperity Fund from Bassetlaw District Council and/or another Council.
  • Projects or costs where there is a statutory duty to provide them cannot be supported
  • Revenue projects, the REPF is a capital fund project
  • No projects will be funded retrospectively.

What costs may be eligible?

  • The maximum request for funding is limited to £15,000 per application for business applications and £10,000 for community applications. Outstanding projects or projects delivering an initiative/s across more than one rural area, forming a collaborative bid approach or support a number of interventions may be awarded more. This is at the discretion of the Council.
  • Businesses must directly contribute (or secure from another source of match funding), a minimum of 30% funding towards the total project costs.
  • Community projects must directly contribute (or secure from another source of match funding), a minimum of 10% funding towards the total project costs. Evidenced in-kind contributions will be considered as part of the match allocation
  • Match funding/financial contributions may be from any funding source including grants (excluding those listed above). This funding must be secured rather than awaiting confirmation to be considered eligible and you must be able to demonstrate match funding before your project progresses to the full application stage
  • Grant funding must be spent by 31 March 2025.
  • No projects will be funded retrospectively
  • The fund only supports capital projects. There is no revenue funding to support a capital project as part of the programme. Capital funds can be used to acquire, build or renovate physical assets, including:
    • Plant machinery and equipment
    • A one-time purchase of a fixed asset
    • Acquisition of land or buildings
    • Building and construction costs
    • Professional fees associated with building and construction.

Ineligible Costs

  • Paid for lobbying, entertaining, petitioning or challenging decisions, which means using the fund to lobby (via an external firm or in-house staff) in order to undertake activities intended to influence or attempt to influence Parliament, government or political activity including the receipt of UKSPF funding; or attempting to influence legislative or regulatory action
  • Payments for activities of a party political or exclusively religious nature
  • VAT reclaimable from HMRC
  • Gifts, or payments for gifts or donations
  • Statutory fines, criminal fines or penalties
  • Payments for works or activities which the lead local authority, project deliverer, end beneficiary, or any member of their partnership has a statutory duty to undertake, or that are fully funded by other sources
  • Contingencies and contingent liabilities
  • Dividends
  • Bad debts, costs resulting from the deferral of payments to creditors, or winding up a company
  • Expenses in respect of litigation, unfair dismissal or other compensation
  • Costs incurred by individuals in setting up and contributing towards private pension schemes.

Grant Agreement Terms

Successful applicants will enter into a grant agreement with the Council.

This will include the following terms:

  • The project delivers all outputs as outlined in the full application
  • Evidence of expenditure is provided in line with the REPF reporting timelines and the agreed project end date
  • The supported business or community asset must trade or be in use for a minimum of three years from the end of the funded term

Payment terms will be agreed with successful applicants at the full application stage.

Applicants must ensure that the project is compliant with the UK subsidy control regime and will be asked to demonstrate this in their application form and will form part of the application declaration. Applicants will be asked to declare whether they or their organisation has received EU funding or other public sources as part of the application process.

All projects must comply with UKSPF/REPF procurement procedures, this includes three quotes for the purchase of any goods or services between the value of £2,500 and £25,000. The quotes will be requested prior to entering into the funding agreement.

Funding will be awarded on the basis that all permissions, to deliver the project, are in place e.g. planning permission. The Council will ask for evidence before a grant agreement is issued, however it is the sole responsibility of the applicant to secure permissions and ensure that all necessary due-diligence checks relating to the project have been carried out.

Applicants must consider how their project may displace or negatively impact other businesses or community facilities/services and consider engagement with existing operations to avoid displacement. Any projects that may result in displacement will not be taken forward.

Applicants must engage with their Ward Councillor to highlight what you are planning to deliver as part of your application and secure a letter of support to submit with the full application.

How to apply

 

Full Application

The application form will need to be submitted with:

  • Quotes for works to be funded (see application form)
  • Letter of support from Ward Councillor (see application form)
  • Copies of financial standing (see application form)
  • Ownership of building or written approval from landlord (see application form)

First Application Call Timeline

 

Activity

Date

Full application opens

15 April 2024, 12noon

Full application closing date

15 May 2024, 12noon

Application evaluated from/to

17 May 2024 – 13 June 2024

Successful applicants informed

w/c commencing 17 June 2024

How will applications be assessed?

Full Application

Submitting a full application is no guarantee of grant funding. On receipt of the full application, the following gateway criteria will be checked:

Full Application Gateway Criteria

Gateway Questions

Yes

No

Application completed in full and on time with all supporting documents

 

 

Quotes provided and approved

 

 

All necessary permissions in place for the project to progress

 

 

Evidence of match funding provided

 

 

Evidence of financial standing provided

 

 

Ward Cllr letter of support submitted

 

 

The tables below provides an overview of how we will score and assess full applications. Each part of the application will be scored 0-5 based on the quality and content of the answers provided, and how well the applicant demonstrates the points below.

 

Theme

Component

Weight

Evidence/justification of need for funding

Strong justification for why the funding is required

Funding previously secured

In line with rural challenges or is going to address a market failure or boost rural economy

Community involvement

20%

Strategic Fit with BDC REPF Investment Plan

How the project fits Bassetlaw rural challenges identified in REPF Investment Plan.

How does the project support environmental sustainability?

20%

 

10%

Value for money

Match funding contribution confirmed

Quotations show value for money

10%

Deliverability

Demonstrated financial viability

Project outputs and outcomes in line with REPF

35%

Project sustainability

The project can be sustained past the term of the funding

5%

 

Who to contact

For further information or any queries relating to the REPF please email UKSPF@bassetlaw.gov.uk

Background

In September 2022, the Government launched the Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF) prospectus as an addition to the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF).

Bassetlaw was allocated £714,251, which can be spent over two financial years 2023/24 and 2024/25 on capital interventions to support our rural communities and business enterprises as part of the REPF. The table below outlines the annual allocations: year 1 – 25%, year 2 – 75%.

Allocation 2023 / 2024 (£)

Allocation 2024 / 2025 (£)

Capital

Revenue

Capacity

Capital

Revenue

Capacity

 178562.75

 n/a

  n/a

535688.25

  n/a

  n/a

 

Financial breakdown by year

 

Rural England

Prosperity Funding Breakdown

Intervention Code

2023-24 (£)

2024-25 (£)

Funding (capital grants) for small scale investment in micro and small enterprises in rural areas

REB1

0

207,125

REPF spend on other UKSPF interventions

  

 

 

E3 Creation of and improvements to local green spaces

REC3

100,000

0

E6 Local arts, cultural, heritage & creative activities

REC5

0

80,000

E11 Capacity building & infrastructure support local groups

REC2

0

107,125

E15 Investment and support for digital connectivity for local community facilities

REC1

41,062

28,937

Rural England

Prosperity Funding Breakdown

Intervention Code

2023-24 (£)

2024-25 (£)

E17 Development & promotion of visitor economy

REB3

0

75,000

E26 Growing the local social economy

REB2

37,500

37,500

  

  

714,250

To find out more about the fund please refer to the REPF prospectus -  this should be read in conjunction with the UKSPF Prosperity Fund Prospectus.

 

 

Funded by UK GovernmentPowered by Levelling Up logo

 


Last Updated on Wednesday, April 17, 2024