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UDC awarded £800,000 in funding for rural community projects

Uttlesford District Council has been awarded £813,000 to invest in projects that address the particular challenges that face rural areas.

The Rural England Prosperity Fund has been provided to local councils by central government as an addendum to the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. It succeeds EU funding which was part of the Rural Development Programme for England, with a total of up to £110 million available nationally for 2023/24 and 2024/25.

The programme will provide capital support to new and existing rural businesses to promote growth and diversification, as well as cultural, historic and heritage institutions to strengthen the rural economy and rural communities. It will be offered across the whole of Uttlesford, including the towns of Saffron Walden and Great Dunmow, through the funding of capital projects which create lasting assets, such as buildings or equipment.

Grants of between £5,000 and £150,000 will be available to support new and existing rural businesses in creating more commercial spaces, farm diversification and extending the tourist season.

Grants of between £1,000 and £15,000 will be available to existing cultural, historic and heritage institutions.

Cllr Petrina Lees, Leader of the council, said: "The rural nature of Uttlesford is one of its most treasured characteristics but it also brings challenges, particularly to our business community. This new grant scheme is essential in giving a much-needed boost to rural business owners, cultural and heritage organisations and farmers which make up such an intrinsic part of the district's identity.

"We look forward to receiving applications and helping to deliver some important schemes for our rural communities."

Full eligibility criteria and details of how to apply are available at

16 June 2023