Skip to main content
  1. Home
  2. Business and licensing
  3. Invest in the Forest of Dean
  4. Rural England Prosperity Fund

Rural England Prosperity Fund

In September 2022, the Forest of Dean district was identified by DEFRA as eligible for the Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF). REPF aims to improve productivity and strengthen the rural economy and rural communities. Follow this link to the REPF fund guidance/prospectus: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/rural-england-prosperity-fund-prospectus/rural-england-prosperity-fund-prospectus   

Each district has been awarded an allocation of capital funding that will be available from April 2023 to March 2025. The REPF is linked with the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF). It aims to improve productivity and strengthen the rural economy and rural communities. Follow this link to the UKSPF fund guidance/prospectus: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-shared-prosperity-fund-prospectus/uk-shared-prosperity-fund-prospectus

Rural Business Grant

We have concluded the grant process for Year 1. Applications for projects eligible for Year 2 funding closed on 3 March 2024.

The council is introducing a new grant scheme to specifically target existing food, farming and rural-based businesses. The grant will be open to existing microbusinesses (fewer than 10 employees), small businesses (fewer than 250 employees) and social enterprises:

  • Funding awards between £3,000 - £25,000
  • Match Funding of 20% required
  • HMRC registered for 3 years (funding not available to sole traders)

Year 1 (present to end of March 2024):

  • £50,000 (capital)

Year 2 (April 2024 to March 2025)

  • £150,000 (capital)
  • £41,000 (revenue)

Type of projects to be funded

  • Digital infrastructure installations 
  • Investment in land and property to create new commercial floorspace
  • Bringing vacant or underused floorspace into use
  • Farm diversification
  • Developing tourism and hospitality sector physical assets
  • Investment in renewable energy installations
  • Premise, plant and equipment investment to support decarbonisation

ALP Synergy are administering the grant on behalf of the District Council.

Top Tips for Year 2

  • Projects - developed stage (clear plan but just need funds) 
  • Match funding needs to be secured
  • Projects have to produce economic growth benefits

Community Space Grants

Forest of Dean District Council has allocated over £100,000 from the government's Rural England Prosperity Fund towards improvements to village halls and community buildings with £25,000 for 2023/24 and £175,000 allocated in 2024/25.

Grants are to be between £3,000 and £25,000, with 20% match funding required from applicants. The council is particularly keen to support decarbonisation, energy efficiency and digital connectivity projects, but will consider any capital project to improve a community building.

In response to feedback, we have extended the deadline for applications:

  • NEW Grant Application Deadline – 5pm on 15 April 2024

Panel Meeting – 8 May 2024.

Application forms and guidance notes are available below or from the Gloucestershire Rural Community Council who are administering the grant on the council’s behalf, email info@grcc.org.uk or go to https://www.grcc.org.uk/ 

Online information session

GRCC held an online event to talk about the process of applying to the Forest of Dean REPF, answer questions and get inspiration for your project on 28 February 2024. These are the presentation and Q&As from the event:


The grant application process for 2023/24 funding closed on 8 January 2024.