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Council Services:

Rural Services

These grants are for projects that aim to alleviate some of the difficulties faced by rural communities, particularly the lack of access to services and the provision of infrastructure. Projects should make a contribution to growing the local economy. They could include, the development of community buildings, public spaces, or cultural or tourism amenities.

Who can apply:

  • New or existing micro or small businesses;
  • Rural community organisations;
  • Public or private entities working in partnership with small and micro business and rural community groups; and
  • Local authorities (in exceptional circumstances, where for example the project outcomes are enhanced by their inclusion, or the local authority can show that the project and the funding required is in addition to their statutory requirement to provide rural services).

Examples of the type of activities that could be funded are set out below.  For detailed information about eligibility criteria, the amount of funding you can apply for and how to submit an application please refer to the Wash Fens Applicant Handbook.

Types of projects could include:

  • Plans for the development of municipalities and villages in rural areas and their rural services;
  • Creation, improvement or expansion of all types of small scale infrastructure, including investments in renewable energy systems which would not be eligible for Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) or Feed-In tariffs (FITs);
  • Setting up, improving or expanding of essential rural services for the local community;
  • Projects that involve visits to farms for educational purposes, so that the public has a greater understanding of the countryside and rural areas;
  • Small-scale village infrastructure projects, including amenity buildings and village access, (for example footpaths);
  • Community renewable energy production and distribution networks;
  • developing village infrastructure and access to key services, which may include tourism Projects that increase services for the local community and contribute to village renewal;
  • setting-up, improving or expanding essential services (for example transport) for the local community.

Costs could include:

  • Construction, acquisition (including leasing) or improvement to immovable property;
  • Feasibility studies and construction of renewable energy production plant and distribution capacity;
  • The purchase or hire purchase of new machinery and equipment;
  • General costs linked to facilitating investments such as architect, engineer, consultation fees, but these can’t add up to more than 15% of the project’s total eligible costs;


What isn’t covered

In addition to the standard list of ineligible costs which can’t be claimed (see Applicant Handbook, Pages 5 and 6) the following costs are not eligible under Rural Services:

  • Computers, software and printers that are used for the general running of a business, such as processing orders and accounts;
  • Salaries associated with the on-going running of projects;
  • Access to broadband services;
  • Landscaping - unless it is part of ‘making good’ for an application for a major attraction or accommodation expansion. In which case, only the landscaping contractor’s fees would be eligible excluding the plants, seeds, turf or trees;
  • Projects to meet statutory requirements for disabled access, fire regulations or emergency exits, unless the costs of providing access, exit and complying with regulations form part of the normal costs for a major expansion project.

How to apply


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Last updated: 7 June 2016

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