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Malvern Hills Rural Fund – Application Process

In this section you will find the following information:

Please read on to find out more about the stages of the Malvern Hills Rural Fund application process. If you are thinking of applying to the fund please read through each stage as it will assist in the completion of your application.

Stage 1 – Expression of Interest

Stage 2 – Full Application

How Full Applications are assessed

The final decision

Stage 1 - Expression of Interest

At Expression of Interest (EOI) stage you will be asked to provide information on:

  • Your business/organisation, including any linked businesses.
  • Your project including:
    • Delivery timescales (projects must be delivered by 31st January 2025).
    • Funding requirements.
    • What will be delivered.
    • Why the project is needed.
    • What outputs and outcomes will be achieved.

EOIs will be assessed by the Rural Fund Team and not all applications will necessarily be successful.

The assessment will cover a range of factors including that the project:

  • Is within an eligible area and meets all REPF eligibility criteria.
  • Can be delivered within the specified timeline.
  • Costs are realistic and are permitted under REPF.
  • Is likely to deliver REPF outputs and outcomes.

Once assessed you will either:

  • Be invited to submit a full application by a set deadline.
  • Receive feedback on why the project can’t be supported.

If an EOI needs more work, the Rural Fund Team will suggest areas for improvement and explain where applicants can get more help and support before the application can be resubmitted.

Please complete our Expression of Interest form.

Stage 2 – Full Application

At Full Application stage you will be asked to provide information on:

  • Your business/organisation including:
    • Most up to date accounts.
    • Public funding received in the last 3 years.
  • Permissions required for project delivery (including planning consent and landlord consent) – these must be in place at Full Application stage.
  • Detailed project costs including quotes for all work (please see below for procurement details), demonstrating value for money.
  • Match funding information – match must be secured at Full Application stage.
  • Detailed information on:
    • Barriers to operation that your business/organisation is facing.
    • How funding will be spent and why it is needed.
    • The market/community need for your project.
    • Environmental/sustainability impacts.
    • Quantify what outputs and outcomes your project will achieve.

The procurement process followed should fall within the following limits:

  • Items worth £0 - £2,499 (including VAT) - 1 quote is needed
  • Items worth £2,500 - £9,999 (including VAT) - 2 quotes are needed
  • Items worth £10,000 - £49,999 (including VAT) - 3 quotes are needed
  • Items worth £50,000 and above (including VAT) – submission of tenders

 Please note that should your application be successful funding will be paid upon submission of evidence that grant items have been purchased.  Please consider at this stage how you will manage your finances to accommodate this.

If you have submitted a successful Expression of Interest and have been invited to progress to the next stage, please complete our Full Application. You should only complete a Full Application if you have been invited to do so by the Rural Fund team.

How Full Applications are assessed

Full Applications will undergo an initial review by the Rural Fund Team to ensure all necessary information has been included.  You may be contacted for more information at this stage.

Complete Full Applications will be considered by the Malvern Hills Rural Fund Appraisal Panel which consists of local representatives with expertise and working knowledge of rural business and communities. 

The Malvern Hills Rural Fund Appraisal Panel will assess and score Full Applications against a range of selection criteria including:

  • Strategic fit, including how the project fits with and delivers one or more of the priorities of the Rural Fund and how it will benefit the rural economy and/or community.
  • The need for the project has been clearly identified and how it will address the issues/challenges identified by the business/community.
  • Value for money and the need for public funding. The application will need to show that competitive quotes have been sought and costs represent value for money; that the level of grant sought will achieve a reasonable number of outputs and outcomes and what difference grant aid will make when compared to what would happen without grant aid. The financial viability of the business and the proposed project will also be assessed as part of this criterion.
  • Project sustainability and impacts – how the project contributes to net zero and impacts on the environment and natural assets; that the project does not disadvantage anybody in terms of ethnicity, disability, age and gender.
  • Deliverability – to ensure that the project can be successfully delivered on cost and on time.

Being invited to submit a full application is not a guarantee of grant funding.

The final decision

The Malvern Hills Rural Fund Appraisal Panel will make a recommendation to the Economy Panel (grant requests for £10,000 and under) or the Executive Committee (grant requests over £10,000) at Malvern Hills District Council who will decide if a Full Application is successful and if a grant offer can be made. The Rural Fund team will let applicants know whether they have been successful.

Unsuccessful applicants will receive a letter explaining the reasons why their application was unsuccessful. Applicants can ask for the decision on their application to be reviewed if they think that:

  • the decision was based on an error of fact;
  • the decision was wrong in law; or
  • the Malvern Hills Rural Fund Appraisal Panel made a procedural error