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Rural Prosperity Grants: North Somerset launches second year of Rural Community and Business Funding Programme

24th May 2024

Businesses and community groups who want to help improve their productivity, connectivity and boost prosperity are invited to apply for North Somerset Council’s second round of a rural capital grant programme launched today, Friday 24 May.

Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF) grants are now available for businesses and community organisations in eligible hamlets, villages and towns of North Somerset with populations below 10,000 and ‘hub towns’ with populations of up to 30,000 serving rural areas as a centre of employment and services.  

What can be funded? 
Funding is available for capital projects that will have a positive local impact, such as strengthening buildings and equipment or investment in energy efficient and low carbon technologies. An example of the projects funded in 2023/4 can be found here:   

This initiative has already supported 16 businesses and community groups to develop new products, facilities or digital infrastructure that can provide essential services. 

This includes Lower Laurel Farm’s project in Banwell – an all-weather accessible BBQ Lodge.  

Lower Laurel Farm opened its Coastal Cottage holiday let in December 2022, featuring braille labels, talking appliances, and equipment and spaces optimised for a wheelchair user. Now, thanks to money from the REPF, an accessible barbeque lodge has been installed next to the cottage. 

Owner Paul Goddard worked with supplier Barbecue Lodges in Somerset and tweaked their design to incorporate a lowered threshold, widened doorway and removable benches. 

Paul said: “The British weather isn’t always conducive to barbeques, especially for those with additional considerations. Now a disabled person can fully partake in barbequing, as well as enjoy the social aspects that are possible in this unique space.” 

This bespoke work was carried out by landscapers Jon and Dave Price, of Price Brothers in Weston- super-Mare. The brothers worked closely with other tradespeople to ensure level access was made possible. 

How to apply 
The rural capital grant programme is open for applications until midday on Friday 28 June. The minimum grant request is £5000, with a maximum request of £25,000. All projects must include an element of match funding, with businesses contributing 25% match funding and community organisations contributing 10% towards total project costs.   

Please visit  for further information or to apply.

Mandie Berry, REPF Programme manager said:: “As we are already seeing such positive impacts across our rural communities, I am excited to see how this year’s grant scheme continues to make North Somerset a better place to live, work and visit.  

“There is an endless list of capital improvements this fund could be used for; please get in touch with the team if you would like to find out more about the application process.”  

For any queries, contact stating REPF in the subject of your email. 

This initiative is funded by the Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF), part of the Government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF). The REPF supports activities that specifically address challenges rural areas face, such as lower productivity rates, limited connectivity and poorer access to key services. 

For more information about the UKSPF programme in North Somerset, visit

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