Mason Moore | Hinckley Reporter | 25 October 2023
HINCKLEY and Bosworth’s rural businesses and organisations are being invited to apply for grants as part of a new scheme to help them become greener.
The new scheme, which aims to help boost the rural economy, was officially launched today (25 October) by the borough council, and will run through to March 2025.
The initiative has been made possible thanks to £400,000 of funds from the Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF).
In a statement issued to the Hinckley Free Press, a council spokesperson provided insight on who can apply.
They said: “Those eligible include businesses and local organisations that invest in green technologies, as well as those that increase productivity; protect and improve local historic buildings, venues and cultural offerings; provide diversification outside of agriculture and develop local tourism attractions. “
And, they are especially encouraging applications from those looking to install low and zero carbon-generating technologies, or measures to improve energy efficiency.
A range of grants are available, with funds ranging from £7,500 to £22,500. The grants also have an intervention rate of 75 per cent, meaning businesses and organisations need to only find a minimum 25 per cent of the total eligible project costs to apply.
A pool of £100,000 is available in Year 1 between 2023 to 2024, with a £300,000 pool available in Year 2, between 2024 and 2025. As a result, the council are expecting ‘high interest’ and applications are to be treated on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.
The fund is open to applications for Years 1 and 2. It has been noted that applications for Year 2 must be projects which will not commence prior to Monday, 1 April 2024.
Coun. Martin Cartwright, the borough council’s Executive Member for Rural Affairs, said: “We are thrilled to be able to offer these grants to support our rural communities and businesses, helping them to thrive especially given the challenging and difficult circumstances over the recent years.
“Due to the amount on offer, we are expecting these grants to be very competitive, so please apply straight away if you think you’ll be eligible. Our thanks to the Rural England Prosperity Fund for helping to make this possible. Good luck with your applications.”
The closing date for the first round of funding is midday on Wednesday 29 November 2023.
To find out more and apply, visit the Rural Prosperity portal on the council website.