This scheme is managed and funded by Hampshire County Council.
It has been set up to provide better services locally for rural people and to improve access to essential services not available locally.
The scheme is focused on helping increase the use of Village Shops, particularly those that are losing their Post Offices, and/or support the creation of new community-led village stores.
When to apply
Applications are accepted all year round until the budget is allocated.
Grant criteria and eligibility
- Grants of up to a maximum of £20K are available
- Only one grant will be awarded to each village community within any one financial year. New project applications from the same village may be considered in future years but no funds will be available to support projects or services that have already received grant aid from this scheme
- Match funding is required and should ideally be in the region of 50/50 or as close as possible to that
Who can apply?
Applications should come from:
- community associations
- village shop associations
- parish councils
- district councils or formally-constituted voluntary associations.
- Private businesses can also apply but the relevant parish council will need to support any application in writing
- The fund is targeted primarily to communities with populations of less than 5,000. Priority will be given to communities with populations of less than 5,000
- To be eligible, independent retailers/commercial enterprises need to be the sole shop in a settlement, and/or must host the Post Office service
Who can't apply?
Statutory service providers, non-independent commercial organisations (with more than one outlet) and national or regional voluntary sector bodies cannot apply.
What is funded
- Projects which are designed to boost footfall and takings e.g. new retail services such as local food counters, tea-room, internet cafe
- Initiatives to sustain existing services, e.g. setting up a delivery service or using a community minibus to bring customers in from neighbouring settlements
- Projects supporting creative location of essential services e.g. in pubs, village halls, churches and parish halls or other community venues
- Projects involving access to retail advice and guidance, marketing and promotion, new or improved signage or other beneficial activities designed to boost footfall and takings
- Improvements to physical accessibility where lack of access is reducing usage of the shop
To find out more contact:
Economic Development Office
Hampshire County Council
Elizabeth II Court South
Telephone 01962 846558