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New fund to support rural communities and businesses to thrive

Community organisations and businesses can apply for capital funding for projects to support rural areas of the borough, following the launch of a new fund.

Launched by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, the Basingstoke and Deane Rural Fund aims to support rural community organisations and micro and small businesses with the delivery of new and innovative projects to benefit their area.

The funding could be used for investment in new machinery to modernise production methods, investment in technology to improve energy efficiency of facilities, investment in converting buildings into accommodation or facilities for tourists, and improvements to facilities to enhance accessibility for people with disabilities, but organisations are encouraged to think creatively and discuss their ideas with grants team at the council. 

Organisations and businesses can apply for a grant of up to £30,000 for projects to support the diversification of the rural economy, improve the visitor infrastructure and experience, enhance community facilities and accelerate the adoption of new production and green technologies.

Almost £440,000 of funding is available and projects that create new jobs or businesses, adopt new technology, increase business turnover, increase the number of users and visitors and improve the perception of rural areas, will be prioritised.

The funding is from the UK government through the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, as part of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

Cabinet Member for Communities, Partnerships and Inclusion Cllr John McKay said: “Community organisations and businesses play a vital role in our rural towns and villages and we want to support them to thrive.

“Our Basingstoke and Deane Rural Fund is now open to support new innovative projects that will improve the way they work, boost residents’ quality of life and attract more visitors to these areas to support our vital rural economy.

“I would encourage organisations and businesses to get in touch with us to find out more on how they could benefit from this funding so we can deliver this important support as quickly as possible.”

Organisations and businesses interested in applying will need to email to discuss their project idea before applying to the fund.

For more information about funding available for communities and businesses, visit This includes information webinars for prospective applicants to find out more about the fund, the criteria and the application process.

The deadline for applications is Sunday 10 December and all projects must be completed by 28 February 2025. To register for webinars or any other enquiry, email

News release published on 8 November 2023

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