Staff and Trustees at Lincolnshire Community Foundation (LCF) in conjunction with North Kesteven District Council are pleased to announce the launch of a capital grants scheme, Rural England Prosperity Fund which is available to charities, community groups, social enterprises, Parish & Town Councils etc operating for the benefit of people living in the North Kesteven District Council area.

The Rural England Prosperity Fund is complementary to the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and is a central pillar of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda providing £2.6 billion of funding for local investment England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland by March 2025.  The fund will support capital costs only and is aimed to level up communities, providing access to activities and opportunities for people living in rurally isolated areas.

£74,389 will be available in the current financial year with a closing date for receipt of applications and supporting documentation on 16 February 2024.  Bids of between £5,000-£10,000 for capital costs will be considered. Substantially more funding will be available in the subsequent financial year when requests of between £5,000-£25,000 (again for capital costs) will be welcomed; closing dates on 1 May and 14 September.  Decisions to be notified within 6-8 weeks. Payments are usually made in arrears.  However, where an applicant doesn’t have the financial resources to cover the project costs, payments may be made in advance or in staged payments. 

Grants should enable places to invest in and/or restore their community spaces and create the foundations for growth at neighbourhood level.  The intention is to strengthen the social fabric of communities, building pride in place by improving local community facilities, creating opportunities to bring people together and create social connections that will grow and thrive. Projects must be in a rural area e.g. towns, villages and hamlets with populations below 10,000, or market or ‘hub towns’ with populations of up to 30,000 that serve their surrounding rural areas as centres of employment and in providing services.

Examples of the type of investment that will be considered include:

  • the purchase of property, land, or buildings by the community for the community. 
  • the purchase of equipment (including replacement).
  • the conversion, improvements or refurbishment of buildings for community purposes.
  • the creation or enhancement of walks, trails and cycle paths including access improvements.
  • capital investment designed to improve the sustainability and resilience of rural communities including the creation of new services and amenities or improvements to existing provision in support of community cohesion and inclusion. 
  • Investments in renewables, green power and energy efficiency measures which lessen the reliance of Rural Communities on fossil fuels and make a positive contribution to Net Zero e.g. projects aimed at reducing fuel costs at a time of exponentially rising prices, Electric Vehicle (EV) charging points, solar panels and ground source heat pumps.
  • Investments in digital connectivity, awareness, and infrastructure which will improve community confidence, including broadband.

These are examples, and we would welcome and encourage potential applicants to get in touch to have a chat about a prospective bid.  The application process is straight forward, and help is available every step of the way from out the LCF team.

Applicants should demonstrate value for money and therefore the decision to match fund proposals may be critical. The greater the funding requirement the greater the expectation that applicants will be required to contribute. 

Full details are available on the Lincolnshire Community Foundation’s Grants Page at

In a joint statement, Councillor Mrs Sally Tarry, who has overview of community initiatives at North Kesteven District Council, said that the potential presented through the Rural England Prosperity Fund in connecting communities and opening up new initiatives, approaches and opportunities was impressive.

“We know how innovative our communities, charitable organisations, social enterprises and local councils are in identifying and initiating activities for the benefit of residents and in building supportive, safe, cohesive communities. To be able to access up to £10,000 towards capital costs through this initial allocation of funding has the potential to make the world of difference for such initiatives.

“I am excited to see the range of ideas that come forward and encourage any group or organisation that thinks they may be eligible to connect with the Lincolnshire Community Foundation to progress their bid and ensure the money is put to best use in bringing forward and sustaining projects that matter to people and make a difference to community life.

“Later in the year we will have a further £225,000 available, in grants up to £25,000. To have the ability to direct around £300,000 of government funding into levelling up and strengthening the foundations of our flourishing communities is most welcome. I believe it will have a significant impact in developing pride of place and community growth at neighbourhood level”.

Sue Fortune, CEO at Lincolnshire Community Foundation says: “This is an opportunity for local organisations providing crucial services across our rural communities to access much needed funds to improve local facilities that will benefit residents now and into the future, whether it’s to install a new kitchen in a community hub, secure   funding to complete a community play area or complement funds already secured to install solar panels.  I’d encourage anyone interested in applying, but not sure whether their project is eligible, to contact Hayley Crawford at the Foundation”.

For an application form and more information: Contact Hayley Crawford Telephone (01529) 305825, or download the Fund Guidelines and an Application Form from our Grants Page at

North Kesteven Rural England Prosperity Fund