North Somerset Council are encouraging rural businesses and community groups to apply for a grant to help boost prosperity.

The council's second round of the Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF) grant programme opened on Friday, May 24.

These grants are available for businesses and community groups in eligible areas of North Somerset with populations below 10,000 and ‘hub towns’ with populations of up to 30,000.

The council's grant programme supports projects having a positive local impact such as strengthening buildings, equipment upgrades, or investment in energy-efficient and low carbon technologies.

The initiative, which has previously backed 16 ventures, is proving instrumental in helping groups develop new products, facilities, or digital infrastructure and strengthen essential services.

One such beneficiary of the initiative is Lower Laurel Farm in Banwell.

Having opened its accessible Coastal Cottage holiday let in December 2022, the farm used funding from the REPF to install a weather-proof, accessible barbecue lodge alongside the cottage.

The owner Paul Goddard, worked with the Somerset-based supplier Barbecue Lodges, to modify their design and make it accommodating for individuals with disabilities.

Mr Goddard said: "The British weather isn’t always conducive to barbeques, especially for those with additional considerations.

"Now a disabled person can fully partake in barbequing, as well as enjoy the social aspects that are possible in this unique space."

Applications for the rural capital grant programme are open until midday on Friday June 28.

The minimum grant request is £5,000, with a maximum request of £25,000.

All projects must include an element of match funding, which requires businesses to contribute 25 per cent and community organisations to contribute 10 per cent towards total project costs.

Mandie Berry, the rural England prosperity fund programme manager, said: "As we are already seeing such positive impacts across our rural communities, I am excited to see how this year’s grant scheme continues to make North Somerset a better place to live, work and visit.

"There is an endless list of capital improvements this fund could be used for; please get in touch with the team if you would like to find out more about the application process."

The REPF is part of the larger UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF), a Government initiative addressing challenges in rural areas such as limited connectivity and access to key services.

For further information or to apply, visit or email queries to with REPF in the email subject.