Published: Wednesday, 1st November 2023
Rural businesses and community groups, based in the Sevenoaks District, have secured thousands of pounds to create new jobs while tackling climate change
Sevenoaks District Council was allocated £125,000 from the West Kent Rural Grants scheme, funded by the Government’s Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF), to support rural enterprises.
Applicants applied for a share of the money between 4 July and 15 August 2023 and nine were successful, each receiving grants worth up to £25,000.
The funding is projected to create nine new jobs, while protecting six existing jobs, and will help six businesses and community groups to reduce their carbon emissions. A further 31 suppliers, who provide goods and services to the successful grant applicants, are expected to benefit from the funding.
Sevenoaks District Council Leader, Cllr Julia Thornton, says: “This important source of funding, secured by the Council, will help our thriving rural economy to further develop and grow while helping to reduce the District’s carbon footprint.
“I am very proud that we are among the first local authorities in the country to allocate the funding so it can start to make a difference as soon as possible.”
Huw Jarvis, Rural Lead at Kent County Council, adds: “Sevenoaks District Council is one of the first local authorities to allocate REPF funding and is acknowledged as an example of best practice by the Kent Rural Partnership”.
A second round of the West Kent Rural Grants scheme, for 2024/25, will open on 7 November 2023 when more local rural businesses and community groups can submit their bids.
Details of the scheme can be found at www.sevenoaks.gov.uk/westkentruralgrants.
Locally, the Government's Rural England Prosperity Fund is being administered by Sevenoaks District Council for the West Kent Partnership of Sevenoaks District Council, Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council and Tunbridge Wells Borough Council.
Future funding rounds are subject to the release of Government funding.