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How can we help you?

Can you see a great opportunity to start or grow your business? Do you have a bright idea to make a difference to your local community? If so, then we may be able to help turn your vision into reality.

Round Two of the Malvern Hills Rural Fund is now open and encouraging applications for up to £25,000 from businesses throughout rural Malvern Hills. We also welcome applications from organisations from outside Malvern Hills but delivering projects to benefit the rural parts of our district.

Please use the links below to find out more.

What is the Malvern Hills Rural Fund

Who can apply?

What types of projects does the fund support?

Where should my project take place?

How much can I apply for?

How can I apply?

What are the timescales?

Who can I contact for more information?

What is the Malvern Hills Rural Fund?

The Malvern Hills Rural Fund is being delivered by Malvern Hills District Council. The aim of the fund is to facilitate businesses to address issues and barriers to growth, particularly those associated with being in a rural area.

The funding comes from the Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF) and the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF).

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund 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 aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills. For more information, visit UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

Who can apply?

Any organisation with legal status can receive funding, including:

  • micro and small enterprises
  • voluntary organisations
  • registered charities
  • local authorities
  • public sector organisations
  • higher and further education institutions

Please note we cannot support projects that have received funding from other Defra schemes, including:

What types of projects does the fund support?

We are looking to support new capital projects that bring something new to your business. They must represent good value for money. We cannot fund staff costs, general operating expenses or services you are legally required to provide.

Please refer to our Outputs and Outcomes Guidance  to determine where your project sits regarding the Malvern Hills Rural Fund.

Due the large supply of self-catering units in the Malvern Hills district, support for new units will only be considered in exceptional circumstances where proposals would significantly improve a visitor experience or attraction. Any applications for tourism will also be assessed against the objectives of the Malvern Hills Visitor Economy Action Plan.

Projects should meet one or more of the following priorities:

Supporting Rural Business

  1. Investment in micro and small rural businesses and farm diversifications to start up or grow (for example tourism or leisure facilities, food production equipment).
  2. Funding for growing the local social economy and supporting innovation (for example co-working spaces, community enterprises).
  3. Development and promotion (both trade and consumer) of the visitor economy (for example information boards, visitor centres, develop local tourist attractions or visitor experiences).

Where should my project take place?

The project must be delivered in a rural area within the district of Malvern Hills.  Please refer to Defra's Rural Map to check the project delivery postcode. 

On the left hand side you will see a menu:

  • Click the + to the side of “Administrative Boundaries”.
  • Click the + to the side of “Other Administrative Boundaries”.
  • Select Rural England Prosperity Fund.
  • Enter the project delivery postcode into the top left search box or zoom into the delivery location.
  • Select the “Identify” tool from the options bar at the top (an “i” in a circle).
  • Click on the delivery postcode or area.
  • The box that appears will tell you if your projects is within a rural area.

How much can I apply for?

Capital grants of between £2,500 and £25,000 are available.  Applicants will be expected to match fund at least 50% of the project.

How can I apply?

This link will take you to information on the Rural Fund Application Process.

What are the timescales?

Round One – closed to new applications

  • Expression of Interest deadline – 14 August 2023
  • Full application deadline – 11 September 2023
  • Appraisal Panel – 26 October 2023
  • Economy Panel – 9 November 2023 (projects requesting £2,500 - £10,000 Rural Grant will receive a final decision after this date)
  • Executive Committee – 21 November 2023 (projects requesting £10,001 - £25,000 Rural Grant will receive a final decision after this date)

Round Two – now open

  • Expression of Interest deadline – 13 November 2023
  • Full application deadline – 9 January 2024
  • Appraisal Panel – 22 February 2024
  • Economy Panel – 7 March 2024 (projects requesting £2,500 - £10,000 Rural Grant will receive a final decision after this date)
  • Executive Committee – 19 March 2024 (projects requesting £10,001 - £25,000 Rural Grant will receive a final decision after this date)

If you would like to submit an application please refer to the Rural Fund Application Process for guidance on what you will be asked to provide throughout the stages.  If you are unable to provide the required documents by the application deadlines for Round Two it is unlikely that your project will receive a final decision until June 2024. 

Please contact us if you would like to discuss your project.

Future Rounds

Future rounds may be opened up depending on available funding levels.


UKSPF Programme Support Officer:

Georgie Muckle: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; 01684 862270.