Grant funding to support district’s rural economy

Published: Mon 7 August, 2023

Rural businesses in North West Leicestershire are set to benefit from nearly £500,000 in grant funding to support the growth of the rural economy.

The North West Leicestershire Rural Business Grant programme, funded by the UK Government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund, is being run by North West Leicestershire District Council (NWLDC).

The council has received a total of £469,090 for the programme, which will be split across the next two years.

The grants will help small and medium-sized businesses in rural locations to fund projects that support business growth, tourism and visitor economy development, invest in carbon reducing technology or farm diversification.

£117,272 is available in 2023, with businesses able to apply for a grants of between £1,000 and £25,000. Recipients will have to provide at least 50 percent match-funding alongside the grant.

The fund is now open for applications and will close on 30 November at 5pm. Applications will be considered on a first-come-first-serve basis.

SME’s employing under 250 staff can use the funding to support capital projects, such as:

  • buying new equipment to modernise
  • farm tourism facilities such as accommodation, wedding venues and leisure facilities
  • investing in energy efficiency or achieving zero carbon
  • investing in premises, new technology and innovation

An estimated 3,120 businesses in the district could be eligible for the fund.

NWLDC has used guidance and eligibility criteria from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). DEFRA has defined areas of the district as rural; this definition excludes businesses in parts of Bardon, Coalville, Hugglescote, Thringstone and Whitwick.

For more information and to apply visit

Councillor Tony Gillard, NWLDC Portfolio Holder for Economic Regeneration, said: “As a predominantly rural district I am delighted that we have received government funding to help us support our rural businesses.

“The rural economy is a thriving part of the district, and one we want to continue to grow.

“I would encourage any rural business looking to expand, innovate or diversify to apply for the fund.”