Businesses and communities urged to grab share of Wychavon Rural Fund

A new fund worth £1 million is being launched by Wychavon to help support the district’s rural businesses and communities.

Companies, charities, community groups, town and parish councils and other organisations can bid for a share of the Wychavon Rural Fund.
In total £420,000 is being made available to support new small or micro businesses in rural areas, including helping farmers to diversify into other sectors, and growing tourism.

Another £670,000 is available to support rural communities with projects such as community energy schemes, improving local green spaces, upgrading walking and cycling routes and cultural or heritage projects.

The money can only be used to fund physical projects such as new buildings or renovations and not for staff or day-to-day running costs.

It will be released in stages over the next two years, with the first round of funding available to bid for now. Individual grants of between £2,500 and £25,000 are on offer, but businesses will be expected to match 50 per cent of the total cost of a project and other organisations 30 per cent.

Expressions of interest must be submitted through Wychavon’s website using the online form by 14 August, 2023. Shortlisted bids will then be invited to work up a full application.

The funding is part of Wychavon’s share of the Government’s Rural England Prosperity Fund and UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

Cllr Bradley Thomas, Leader of Wychavon District Council and Executive Board Member for Economic Growth and Tourism, said: “If you can see an opportunity to start a new business or have a great idea to improve the life of your community then please bid for this money. It’s part of our commitment to supporting the growth of all parts of our local economy, not just in the towns, and further enhancing our rural communities so they can continue to thrive.”

If your business would like support with applying for this new fund, or any other business support, please contact the Worcestershire Growth Hub team by emailing or phoning 01905 677888 and one of the team will be able to help.