Basic services in rural areas

Basic services in rural areas

More than £7 million of RDPE funding has been allocated to this
theme, targeted in two ways;

  • Grants available to support projects from community and social
    enterprises for the improved delivery of, and access to, basic
  • Professional advice and support available for community and
    social enterprises that deliver basic services, in order to improve
    their overall viability

This funding is for new, existing or developing projects in
rural areas – including towns and villages with a population
of less than 10,000 – across the whole of South West England.
All projects will go through an appraisal process with viability,
sustainability and value-for-money the key considerations.

The primary focus of the RDPE Community and Social Enterprise
fund is to support voluntary and community organisations to become
more self-financing and sustainable. This can be by the
development of community and social enterprise activities,
including support for community buildings where they are used to
provide basic services.

In this context a community or social enterprise is defined
as “a formally constituted group or business which trades primarily
for social purposes rather than being driven by the need to
maximise profits. Whilst governance and legal structures will vary,
they exist for the benefit of the local community, either to
promote a particular activity or service or to achieve a set of
socially based objectives.”

Advice and support

The ‘Making a Community And Social Enterprise (CASE) Making it
happen’ support service is now operational. This project has been
set up to encourage a wide take-up of the RDPE Community and Social
Enterprise funding. It is managed across the South West by
Gloucestershire First working in partnership with the South West
ACRE Network (SWAN) and the Region’s Rural Community Councils
(RCCs). Each RCC has a dedicated CASE Adviser who can help and
support local organisations to prepare applications for funding.
Click on the ‘Making a CASE. Making it happen’ logo on the
SWAN website to learn more
about it and the funding for community and social enterprises .

How do I apply for the grants?

There are two stages to the application process.

  • The Expression of Interest (EoI), which presents an outline of
    the proposal, to determine whether it fits within the criteria of
    the programme
  • A full application and business plan, which will give enough
    details  of the proposed project to enable a funding decision
    to be made.

Who can I contact for help?

Your local Community and Social Enterprise (CASE) Adviser will
help to check your eligibility and provide you with the forms you
will need to make an application.

Alternatively, you can download the Expression of Interest form. You will be able to
access advice and support relating to the application from the CASE
Adviser for your area – clicking on the name of the adviser will
access their email address:

Avon, Bath and North East Somerset and South

 (Gloucestershire Rural Community Council)


Nikki Mills (Cornwall
Rural Community Council)


Dawn Eckhart (Community Council
of Devon)


Jane Colvin
(Dorset Community Action)


 (Gloucestershire Rural Community


Katherine Armstrong
(Community Council for Somerset)


Marion Rayner (Community
First Wiltshire)