Grant Opportunities Available for Rural Communities

Grant Opportunities Available for Rural Communities

Communities in rural Hampshire are being offered the chance to bid for funding from Hampshire County Council for small-scale projects.

The County Council is running two schemes to specifically help rural areas: the Rural Retailers and Community Enterprises Grant, and the Community Challenge Fund.

There are grants of up to £20,000 available under the Rural Retailers and Community Enterprises Grant Scheme. The scheme has been set up to provide financial support to help rural retailers grow, increase their productivity and provide new services, as well as encourage the development of both new and existing community enterprises which have a retail element.

Groups can also apply for grants of up to £5,000 under the Community Challenge Fund which will help improve community resilience and support volunteering in rural communities, support access to transport and take full advantage of mobile and broadband availability. Under this scheme, larger grants are also available to support community-led flood alleviation schemes.

Councillor Edward Heron, Hampshire County Council’s Rural Affairs Champion, said: “There is some great work being done in Hampshire’s rural communities by local retailers and groups making sure their businesses can thrive and their towns and villages remain accessible, vibrant, sustainable places to live in the 21st century.

“We’ve also invested in rural communities with a range of schemes to benefit residents. In recent years, we’ve been able to help with grants for initiatives such as free IT sessions, advice on how to reduce heat loss at home, establishing a community pub and improving drainage to help prevent future flooding. I’m pleased that Hampshire County Council’s size and capacity allows for us to make funding available to enable us to support more worthwhile projects this year, across the county as a whole.”

Other Hampshire County Council grant schemes that may be of interest to rural communities include: the Small Grants Scheme Countryside Access; the Community Buildings Fund; the Culture and Community Activity Grant; the Community Transport Grant and the Valuing Hampshire Communities Grant.

For more information on the Rural Retailers and Community Enterprises Grant scheme, speak to Jennie Pell (jennie.pell@hants.gov.uk) or Emily Preston (emily.preston@hants.gov.uk) on 01962 846571.

Full information on how to apply for Community Challenge Grant is available at: www.hants.gov.uk/grants

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