Rural England Prosperity Fund

Capital projects for small businesses and community infrastructure

On 3 September 2022, the Government announced a new, £110m Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF) which will help to improve productivity and strengthen the rural economy and rural communities.

The REPF is a top-up to and complementary to the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and succeeds EU funding from LEADER and the Growth Programme which were part of the Rural Development Programme for England.

Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils have been allocated the below REPF funding, to be delivered over the next two years (2023/24 and 2024/25).

REPF Funding
Council 2023/24 2024-25 Total
Babergh District Council £155,342 £466,026 £621,368
Mid Suffolk District Council £205,414 £616,243 £821,657


To drawdown the funding, an addendum to the UKSPF Investment Plan was submitted to Government on 30 November 2022. This addendum identified the challenges and opportunities for Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils rural businesses and communities through data driven evidence and stakeholder consultation, and in turn has shaped our priorities for REPF funding.

On 6 April 2023, approval was received from the Government department DEFRA for our addendum which included a number of different projects designed to support rural businesses, increase workspace in the districts, support development or expansion of community hubs or cafes, provide additional EV charge points, support the rural visitor economy linked to our new Culture, Heritage and Visitor Economy Strategy priorities and delivery of active travel enhancements.

Babergh & Mid Suffolk District Councils (BMSDC) are now launching three new grant schemes using this REPF funding to provide capital grants to small businesses, visitor economy organisations and community organisations in the district’s rural areas:

  1. Apply to the Rural Business Growth Fund
  2. Apply to the Rural Culture & Creativity Fund
  3. Apply to the Rural Communities Fund

Grants of between £5,000 – £10,000 are available per application, but you must be able to match any funding that you are applying for with your own funds. All payments are made at the end of the process, so you will need to be able to fund the project fully by yourself before any reimbursements are made. Funding cannot be used to pay for items purchased prior to the grant being determined.

Funding will be available for activities that will have a positive impact on rural business and communities by strengthening buildings, equipment and assets or deliver new activity.

Please note that this is a capital only fund (capital means assets that have monetary value, such as equipment, real estate, and inventory).

Businesses must be able to demonstrate how their project meets the criteria of the fund. For full details on eligibility, please refer to the full grants guidance notes.

Applications will be assessed on a first come, first served basis and subject to funding still being available. Grant determination panels will be held monthly and you will be notified which panel your application will be presented to. Please note applications will close once funds have been fully committed.

For any additional queries, please email our Economic development team.