After a 10-month-long wait, Cotswold District Council has revealed that its funding application to the Rural England Prosperity Fund has been accepted, with £764,292 being awarded to the council to distribute among rural communities in the district.
Rural towns and villages in the Cotswold district include places such as Bourton-on-the-Water, Moreton-in-Marsh, the Slaughters, Paxford, Ebrington, Bisley, North Cerney and Turkdean, among many others.
Communities will be able to apply for a portion of the funding, with money intended for businesses, active travel projects, restoration of heritage buildings and grants for village halls and community buildings.
The Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF) is part of a government fund that is distributed to eligible rural district councils across the country, providing funding to support activities that address the challenges rural areas face. Projects include strengthening the rural economy and helping to develop the infrastructure.
Councillor Tony Dale, cabinet member for the department of Economy and Council Transformation, said: 'I’m so pleased we’ve been allocated this funding after submitting our proposal to the government last year. As part of our submission, we put out a ‘call for projects’ and received over 60 submissions. This indicated the nature of funding needs in our district.
'These funds are primarily aimed at helping our rural businesses and communities keep up with more urban areas, in particular relating to connecting more rural communities.
'As a rural district, it’s only right that the government recognises the different economic needs of our businesses and communities. We have £191,073 to invest this year and £573,219 to invest the following year. I’m really excited to see the difference this funding will make in our district!'