A new £4.6m pot of funding for rural communities and businesses has launched, with eligible organisations encouraged to put forward projects that will strengthen those areas and provide new opportunities for residents.
The money is for investment into community infrastructure and nature-based solutions that maximise Cornwall’s unique natural assets and complement wider aims around net zero transition and nature recovery.
Examples of schemes that can apply for funding of £200,000 up to £1m include:
- Development or improvements to local nature trails, information boards and visitor centres that encourage tourists to visit outside of the normal peak summer season
- Increasing accessibility and use of green and blue spaces such as community gardens, watercourses and footpaths
- Restoration, refurbishment or improvement of cultural, historic, natural and heritage assets and sites
- Active travel infrastructure, such as cycling and walking routes, in rural and remote communities, that link to existing networks and public transport.
Applications for the Rural Fund are open now with a closing date of 24 of July 2023. Successful applicants will have until the end of March 2025 to complete their projects.
Further details can be found on the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Good Growth Fund website https://ciosgoodgrowth.com/
This funding has been allocated by DEFRA under the government’s levelling up agenda.
It is in addition to the £132m Shared Prosperity Fund awarded to Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to benefit communities, business and improve skills as well as to tackle inequalities in deprived areas.
The CIoS Rural Prosperity Fund Investment Plan Addendum outlines how the available budget will be prioritised to address local rural challenges and the opportunities to deliver prosperity for rural businesses and rural communities across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
Louis Gardner, Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for economy, said: “I urge community groups and businesses in rural areas to seize this opportunity to apply for a good amount of funding that could help them deliver projects to improve the life of residents, enhance their local area and help our economy. The Rural Prosperity Fund has been designed to reach into the most rural areas of Cornwall and Isles of Scilly so that everyone can benefit.”
Cllr Sims, Lead Member for Economy, Transport and Tourism, Council of the Isles of Scilly said: “This is a welcome addition to the SPF funding for the Isles of Scilly and for Cornwall. If you have any ideas or plans for your business or group please consider whether this might benefit you. If you have any questions, the SPF team are over on Thursday 11 May 11-4pm at the Porthmellon Enterprise Centre to give advice and guidance.”
Martyn Alvey, Cornwall Council’s cabinet member for environment and climate change, said: “I’m pleased to see the addition of the Rural Fund added to the existing Shared Prosperity Fund offer. This will give a boost to residents and businesses across our distinctive rural communities offering new funding opportunities for projects that specifically address rural needs. I encourage anyone interested to submit an expression of interest so we can review your idea and offer advice on how to complete the full application.”