North Yorkshire is to receive £5.417M from an extra £110m in local authority funding to support rural business and community groups. The £110M Rural England Prosperity Fund was set up by the Government to support local businesses and community organisations, create rural job opportunities, and boost productivity. The £5.417M is for two years from 2023 and throughout 2025.
The fund is designed to be invested in initiatives such as farm diversification, projects to boost rural tourism, and community infrastructure projects including electric vehicle charging stations. The funding will also help people start up local businesses to supercharge growth and create employment opportunities for rural areas.
The Rural Prosperity Fund is a rural top-up to the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. It marks a change from previous bureaucratic and fragmented EU funds, allowing England to take back control of its own growth investment and giving local leaders a greater say in where funding is best spent.
Environment Secretary Therese Coffey said:
“Driving investment in rural areas is a vital part of our vision for levelling up the country. The new Rural Prosperity Fund replaces the bureaucratic EU funding system - allowing us to work closely with local leaders to direct funding where it is most needed to close the rural productivity gap, create job opportunities and protect the English countryside.
“This confirmed spending will allow local authorities to deliver on their plans to level up businesses and communities in rural areas from today, in line with their residents’ priorities.”
Across rural England, the money will be spent on two key areas:
- Communities and place: projects to improve community facilities such as green spaces and boost access to arts and culture to grow local tourism economies.
- Supporting local business: projects to support agricultural businesses looking to expand their remit, and rural businesses looking to launch or grow their products and services.