What projects are eligible?
The Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF) grants are for capital only expenditures – this means investment in infrastructure, buildings, equipment, machinery, or other costs which help in generating revenue and will be used on an ongoing basis.
The grants cannot cover revenue costs or other ongoing operating expenses, used in running the daily business operations such as employee salary, merchandise, stock, energy bills, or rent.
We have grouped the project types to try to give you ideas of the types of projects which can be funded. We will actively work with applicants to help you formulate your project ideas.
Local economy development
Projects which help farm diversification, involve food and drink produce, transformation of buildings, start up or grow rural businesses, improve the community digital infrastructure, or social economy projects like creation of community businesses, cooperatives, social enterprises such as village shops and cafes, wedding venue, pet therapy, or creation of multi-functional rural business hubs and research and development sites are eligible.
Green economy development
Projects which help the development of the circular economy or green product development are eligible. For example, creation of repair cafes or mend workshops, transformation of waste into resource so briquetting machine to make wood waste into fuel to as a new product line, new green tourism enterprises.
Visitor economy development
Projects which help the development of local rural tourism (trade and consumer), green tourism and rural leisure are eligible. For example, creation of cafes, wedding venues, trails, green camping sites, local tourist attractions or products to be sold or support the local visitor economy like boards, visitor centres.
Non eligible projects
We cannot support projects that have received funding from other Defra schemes. This includes:
- The Farming in Protected Landscapes Programme - funding for farmers and land managers to work in partnership with National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) 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 the 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. More details on how to apply will be available shortly
We cannot support projects or costs where there is a statutory duty to provide them.
Projects eligibility in Waverley
Only projects which fit the criteria below are eligible. If your area is not supporting the criteria for your project, we will not be able to process your application.
All projects will be prioritised according to which projects deliver the greatest economic, environmental and social benefits. Projects must demonstrate value for money and additionality including how they contribute to Net Zero and nature recovery objectives.
For rural businesses
1.1 Capital grant funding for small scale investment in micro and small enterprises in rural areas.
This can include capital funding for net zero infrastructure and diversification of farm businesses, to encourage start up or scale up of businesses where this involves converting farm buildings into other commercial or business uses.
For example, event venues on farm, tourism facilities, pet health venues. Non farmer owned businesses can purchase equipment such as brewing equipment, onsite vending machines, equipping kitchens (Farmer owned businesses can get support for this under Farming Investment Fund (FIF)). The grant can also fund for resilience infrastructure and nature-based solutions that protect local businesses and community areas from natural hazards such as flooding.
1.2 Capital grant funding for growing the local social economy and supporting innovation, including community businesses, cooperatives and social enterprises, research and development sites.
For example, it could include rural business hubs with shared workspace and networking opportunities i.e. commercial kitchens, coworking spaces, business infrastructure such as broadband and EV charging points; establishment of rural community businesses for example community owned shops and equipment to support the showcasing of local food and drink products such as display boards.
1.3 Capital grant funding for developing and promoting of the visitor economy (trade and consumer)
This can include local attractions, trails, tourism products more generally - for example information boards, visitor centres and developing local tourist attractions
Ready to apply?
If you haven't yet done so, check your geographical eligibility to make sure your project, charity, business or community group is in an eligible rural area.