What can I spend my grant on?

You must use funding on capital projects. This means you must spend grants on lasting assets such as a building or equipment which are expected to be used for a period of at least one year. This may include enhancements to existing assets which significantly lengthen the life of the asset, significantly increase the value of the asset, or significantly increase usefulness of the asset. It will not include minor repairs or routine maintenance.

Grants must be for business or community purposes. You cannot use grants to fund domestic property improvements or to buy private vehicles.

You cannot spend grants on revenue costs such as running costs, commissioning advice, design and project management costs for any projects, or promotional activities.

Who can apply?

Your organisation can apply if it is

  • A business, an incorporated voluntary or community organisation (this includes charitable incorporated organisations (CIO) and Community Interest Companies (CiC), and charitable companies limited by guarantee) or a parish or town council; and
  • Your activities take place within the East Hampshire District

If your organisation is not incorporated, you can still complete the application form, but EHDC will not provide funding for private individuals unless they can evidence that they are sole traders and have a separate business bank account away from their personal account.

You cannot apply if your activity takes place outside of East Hampshire, or within an excluded part of East Hampshire (please see Q3 below).

The information collected in the application form is necessary to process the grant application. The lawful basis to collect this information is that it is necessary for the performance of the potential contract (i.e. the grant award). EHDC will keep the information on file in line with its retention schedule. You have a number of rights about how your data is used.

Applications must be submitted through a MyEHDC account

This is to ensure that all of the data collected and the scoring applied to each application is available in the event of queries from both the applicant or central government.

Which parts of East Hampshire are excluded and why?

Projects must be in a rural area. Parts of Clanfield, Horndean and Longmoor have been excluded from this grant programme by DEFRA. They have based this on the Office of National Statistics 2011 definition of ‘rural’ which states that rural areas are:

towns, villages and hamlets with populations below 10,000 and the wider countryside

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

They have also defined the excluded areas on their mapping system called MAGIC. The site address is MAGIC (defra.gov.uk).

To access, please follow these instructions:

Users should click on Get Started the from the table of content

Expand administrative geographies/other administrative boundaries

Click in the white box next to the red square labelled “Rural England Prosperity Fund” to apply to the map

You can zoom in or search by place or postcode

The REPF status can be checked by clicking on the Identity button (the 5th button along the row at the top) and then clicking the area on the map

Please contact EHDC if you have any questions or concerns about these geographic boundaries.

What are you aiming to deliver with these grants?

Central government has allocated these capital funds to help implement the outputs and outcomes highlighted in The Shared Prosperity Fund investment plan relevant to East Hampshire. The capital funding will also deliver additional outcomes highlighted by central government as small scale investment in micro and small enterprises in rural areas and capital funding for rural circular economy projects.

EHDC has set its priorities as supporting capital grant funding for developing and promoting the visitor economy, and capital grant funding for small scale investment in micro and small enterprises in rural areas.

Your project should also demonstrate value for money and additionality. You should also consider how investments contribute to net zero and nature recovery objectives, and social benefits (if appropriate). 

Can I apply for this grant fund if I already have other funding, or other applications outstanding.

You can apply for this grant fund even if you have applied to other funds from EHDC or other organisations. You just need to tell us about them to help us make a final decision.

EHDC is unable to fund projects if you already have funding for that specific project from the Farming in Protected Landscapes Programme, the Farming Investment Fund, or the Platinum Jubilee Village Hall Improvement Grant Fund.

The grant fund also cannot be used to support projects or costs where there is a statutory duty on you to provide them.

Do I have to provide match funding?

Match funding is not compulsory for the grant fund, but if you are able to show that you have access to other resources it will assist your application (because it will show that EHDC is providing value for money with the grant pot available).

EHDC will use its discretionary rights to require 50% match funding from businesses applying for a business purpose/outcome, and will request 0% match funding from charitable organisations providing a community purpose/outcome.

You’ve asked me if the amount of money I’ve asked for will be classed as a subsidy – what does that mean?

This question is answered more fully in the Guidance Notes, Part 19.

How will the applications be processed and scored?

EHDC will provide a frontline team of officers (the Rural Support Officers) who will be available to answer questions and help with completing the form. They will be hosting webinar advice and a live forum.

Once the application period has closed a separate team of officers (the Rural Project Managers) will assess all of the applications based on the scoring matrix here.

Once they have assessed the applications the final decision will be made by the Rural Project Board, which will consist of senior council officers and councillor(s). The decision of the Rural Project Board is final and there is no right of appeal. We will however provide written comparative feedback on your application.

EHDC will guide organisations to apply when the second year of funding opens, if appropriate.

What is the timetable for year one of the grant scheme?

The timetable for this grant process is:

  • 31st July 2023: Launch Year One grant scheme
  • 8th August 2023: webinar for potential applicants. A recording of this webinar will be available on EHDC’s website
  • 9th August 2023: drop in event at Penns Place, Petersfield, GU31 4EX for potential applicants
  • 29th September 2023: Close Year One grant scheme
  • 2nd October – 27th October 2023 – first assessment and grading of applications
  • 30th October – 3rd November 2023 – Final Board Approval of applications
  • 6th November 2023 – announcement of outcomes of all applications to all applicants

Who can I talk to about my application?

EHDC Rural Support Officers are available to answer your questions during normal office working hours. The contact details are:

Email: business@easthants.gov.uk

Tel. No. 01730 234354

Address: Economy & Regeneration Team (REPF), East Hampshire District Council, Penns Place, Petersfield, GU31 4EX


The FAQs below were added 30 August 2023


How many applications can I submit in this round of grant funding (closing on 29th September)?

You can submit as many applications as your organisation/business feels is appropriate – but each one must be able to fulfil the criteria of the fund (ie score a high number of points to be eligible)

You’ve asked for evidence of match funding. If that is money I’ve already received from EHDC does that count, or do I have to find other sources of finance?

Money received from a separate EHDC grant or loan fund is eligible to be used as evidence of match funding (if it is required).

Who decides if match funding is needed?

If your application is successful, the officers scoring the applications will decide whether your allocated grant requires match funding. You will be advised of this when the letter advising you of the outcome of your application is sent to you.

What do I do if I already know I won’t be able to complete the works by the end of January 2024?

Make sure you advise us in your application, and if appropriate you may be advised that your application has been held over to be decided in the next grant funding window (which should open during Spring 2024).

What if I’ve already purchased the item I would like funding for?

This grant is not available for retrospective funding.

Is it the trading address and registered office that needs to be in East Hampshire?

The benefit of the grant needs to be achieved within East Hampshire – so your organisation must have some form of business or community outreach programme within East Hampshire to qualify for the grant.

What counts as a capital spend?

For the purpose of this grant process, the grant must be spent on something tangible.

His Majesty’s revenue & Customs Department (HMRC) states: There is no single, simple test that can be applied to decide which items are capital expenditure and which are revenue. This can only be determined by reference to the relevant facts that applied at the time the expenditure was incurred. In addition the classification of items as capital or revenue expenditure is intrinsically linked to the particular circumstances and the exact nature of the trade. The same item may correctly be categorised as capital in one trade, and as trading stock in another…Good record keeping is essential as poorly kept records can contribute to difficulties in identifying whether a transaction is capital or revenue…It can be difficult to distinguish the function that computer hardware, software and information technology perform in the business, what kind of asset they represent, or how the costs associated with them should be handled in the accounts and tax computations. There are a number of complexities to consider for expenditure in this area…

Capital v Revenue Expenditure Toolkit (publishing.service.gov.uk)

Therefore, and in answer to a question raised in the webinar, if you are applying for a grant that is not obviously a long-term tangible asset you will need to explain in your application form why it is a capital and not a revenue expenditure (with reference to your own accounting procedure) and how it will fulfil the aims of the grant objectives (as set out in the scoring criteria for the grant fund).

What is excluded from the grant process?

DEFRA has excluded (1) the purchase of farming machinery and (2) marketing/promotional activities from this grant process.

Can I pay salaries, professional fees or labour costs with this grant?

This grant is not designed to provide full cost recovery, but to provide a service to rural businesses and community groups which fulfil the purpose of the grant fund (as set out in the scoring criteria).

Will the grant fund pay for energy efficiencies such as Solar (PV) panels or car charging (EV) points?

You can apply for a grant to pay for PV and/or EV schemes if you think they will fulfil the criteria of the grant fund (as set out in the scoring criteria). Other schemes may be available which are more relevant to your requirements, for example:

Electric vehicle chargepoint and infrastructure grants for landlords: Overview - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Workplace Charging Scheme: guidance for charities and small accommodation businesses - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Find funding to help your business become greener - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)