BUSINESSES and community groups in Winchester’s countryside can apply for a share of the next Rural England Prosperity Fund award.

The award forms part of the government’s levelling-up fund and is administrated by the city council. Organisations can apply for between £15,000 and £40,000, with businesses required to match fund their projects by 50 per cent.

The grant can be used to support business growth or improve service to communities, including upscaled operations, improving facilities, or providing investment to get a new project or business off the ground.

Cllr Lucille Thompson, city council cabinet member for business and culture, said: “Whether it’s setting up a microbrewery, upscaling a kitchen cupcake business, installing EV chargers or improving wheelchair access, this funding is a fantastic opportunity for growth and improvement among our rural businesses and communities.

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“I’m really pleased to invite rural organisations, who play such a vital part in the district’s vibrant local economy, to apply for the fund and benefit from this significant investment.”

Applications for projects that can be delivered between April 2024 and March 2025 are open until Friday, January 5, with a total of £350,000 being allocated in this round. The remaining funding will be decided in Spring 2024.

The grants are subject to the release of funding by the central government in April 2024.

To apply and to find out more visit