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NEWS: Upton business benefits from rural grant

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NEWS: Upton business benefits from rural grant

An Upton business has been able to expand its premises after receiving a rural grant from Malvern Hills District Council.

GPD Contracts Ltd, a rendering and external wall insulation contractors based at Upton Business Park, applied for a grant of almost £4,000 towards their project.

The small business used the funding towards incorporating a new office space at their premises, as well as to improve an existing office room.

The funding has allowed them to hire an additional employee who is working as an Operations Co-Ordinator.

Simon Grove, Director at GPD Contracts Ltd, said: “As a small company, we are growing steadily and have been for some time. We got to a point where in terms of running the sites and everything that goes with it, we just needed that extra person. That is when we looked at the rural funding. We would definitely recommend it; it has really helped us. We are very pleased to have been involved and to receive that support”.

The Malvern Hills Rural Fund provides grants of between £2,500 and £25,000 to support new small or micro-businesses in rural areas, helping farmers to diversify into other sectors, and growing tourism.

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.

Individual grants are on offer, but businesses will be expected to match 50 per cent of the total cost of a project.

Expressions of interest for Round Four of the funding must be submitted through the Malvern Hills District Council website using the online form by 8 April 2024.

The funding comes from the Government's Rural England Prosperity Fund and the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

Cllr Beverley Nielsen, Portfolio Holder for Tourism and Economic Development at Malvern Hills District Council, said: “It is great to see an example of how the Malvern Hills Rural Grant has helped a micro-business improve and provide the opportunity to create new jobs within the district. We hope this encourages other businesses to apply for funding to make their projects ideas a reality. There is still time to put in an application, I’d encourage rural businesses to take a look at the council website to find out more”.

More information about the qualifying criteria for the fund and how to apply can be found at


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 

Pictured: Bonnie James, Operations Co-Ordinator, Beverley Nielsen, Portfolio Holder for Tourism and Economic Development at Malvern Hills District Council, Simon Grove, Director at GPD Contracts Ltd.

Date published: 22 March 2024