BUSINESSES are being encouraged by Somerset Council to find out if they are eligible for a grant from the UK Government’s Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF). 

The first round of applications has proved successful, with small rural businesses in parts of West Somerset and Wellington applying for the grant. 

To date, funding is being used on projects including bottling equipment for a cider manufacturer to increase efficiency; extending premises to provide additional capacity to maintain electric vehicles; ice-cream manufacturing equipment to increase capacity and specialist animal health equipment for a new vet’s practice. 

Businesses are being urged that the second round is now open and Somerset Council has allocated £2.5 million, which the council says must be spent by the end of March next year.

The council has said businesses can apply for grants between £5,000 and £100,000, so long as they are able to meet the outputs and objectives of the programme and can provide match funding. 

Cllr Ros Wyke, lead member for economic development, planning and assets at Somerset Council said: “This is a really positive announcement for rural businesses and communities across Somerset.”

“It’s important to note that this is funding secured by Somerset Council from the UK Government and cannot be allocated anywhere else.”

Businesses can check if they are eligible at  

To discuss a potential project applicants should email [email protected] in the first instance.