Shared Prosperity Fund
In April 2022, the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) published the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) prospectus. The UKSPF is a central pillar of the UK government’s levelling up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025.
The fund focuses on three key investment themes:
- community and place
- supporting local business
- people and skills (funding released in 2024 to 2025)
An investment plan was created and approved by the leader of the council, this was then submitted to government. In December 2022 the government approved our investment plan, setting out how we propose to spend the funding in our communities over the period up to March 2025.
Our proposals include:
- a creative communities grant to support events and activities
- a volunteering scheme to improve wellbeing
- utilising an empty unit/building in the town centre to create a community art hub
- equipment, advertising and expertise to support events
- improving lighting and greening in the town centre
- town centre events such as the ‘Xmas parade’ in 2022
- interactive equipment to activate open spaces
We have been allocated a total of £1,199,253:
Rural England Prosperity Fund
In September 2022, the government launched the Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF) prospectus as an addition to the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. We were allocated £539,728 to spend between 2023 and 2025 on capital interventions in our rural communities as part of the REPF. Our proposed approach to this funding was set out and approved by the leader of the council and submitted to government. We are currently waiting to hear whether we have been successful.
This scheme is subject to the approval of the investment plan by the government. Applications will not open until we receive this approval. The information provided and the guidance is subject to change.
The REPF in Maidstone aims to support rural communities to modernise and improve their assets to provide multiuse spaces that improve health, wellbeing, reduce rural loneliness, while having a positive impact on the local environment, contribute towards net zero, support the local rural economy, and promote community cohesion. Grants of up to £50,000 will be available to eligible organisations.
Projects must be in a rural area. For fund purposes, rural areas are:
- towns, villages and hamlets with populations below 10,000 and the wider countryside
- market or ‘hub towns’ with populations of up to 30,000 that serve their surrounding rural areas as centres of employment and in providing services
To determine whether your project is in a rural area, and therefore eligible for the REPF, open the link to DEFRA’s Magic Map and follow the instructions below:
- Magic Map link: Magic Map Application (defra.gov.uk)
- Under ‘Table of Contents’ expand ‘Administrative Geographies’ > ‘Other Administrative Boundaries’ > select ‘Rural England Prosperity Fund’
- To search for a location either enter the postcode or manually zoom in on a location
- You will find a toolbar of icons at the top of the application. Select the ‘Identify’ icon and click on the location of your project on the map. A pop-up box will appear notifying you if the area is considered rural or not for the purposes of REPF.
We cannot support projects that have received funding from other Defra schemes. This includes:
- The Farming in Protected Landscapes Programme - funding for farmers and land managers to work in partnership with National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty bodies to deliver projects on climate, nature, people and place
- The Farming Investment Fund - grants to improve productivity and bring environmental benefits, covering 2 funds - the Farming Equipment and Technology Fund and the Farming Transformation Fund
- The Platinum Jubilee Village Hall Improvement Grant Fund - grant funding over 3 years (to 2025) to support capital improvement projects for village halls, covering extending buildings and modernising facilities. More details on how to apply will be available shortly
We cannot support projects or costs where there is a statutory duty to provide them.
Who can apply
- registered charity/community association
- parish councils
- charitable incorporated organisation (CIO)
- Community Interest Company (CIC) limited by guarantee (and have charitable objectives)
- community benefit society (Bencom)
- constituted community groups
- faith groups, where the activity is not promoting religion
- small groups with no formal constitution (non-constituted groups will be considered on a case-by-case basis.)
Amount of grant
Grants of up to £50,000 are available to eligible organisations. Outstanding projects may be awarded more.
Capital grants for provision of net zero infrastructure for rural communities and to create sustainable multi use facilities, for example:
- installing EV charging points for the local community
- retrofitting community buildings to reduce energy consumption and emissions e.g. installing insulation, double glazing or solar panels.
- community energy schemes such as scaled up biomass, heat pumps or solar.
- capital grants for sustainable kitchens in community hubs which are capable of supporting food and drink entrepreneurs to get accreditation for food production, whilst adopting low carbon technology.
- funding for resilience infrastructure and nature-based solutions that protect local businesses and community areas from natural hazards including flooding.
You will need the following to apply:
- organisation details including any relevant registration or reference numbers
- contact details for two people within your organisation
- details of your proposal including: a short summary, project objectives, any engagement with the community that took place in developing your project, predicted impacts, a cost break down, who will have access and use of your project, project timescales and how you will monitor the impact of your project.
- any feasibility work, business cases or contractor assessments that have been completed.
- any existing funding in place associated with your proposal.
- details of any similar projects in the area (if there are any).
- organisation bank details
Timeline for applications
The timescale will be published following approval of the investment plan by the government.
This scheme is subject to the approval of the investment plan by the government. Applications will not open until we receive this approval. The information provided here and in the guidance is subject to change.
Please contact VCSLiaison@Maidstone.gov.uk if you have any questions about the REPF and your application.