Rural Communities Fund – general application guidance

This guidance applies to applications for flood alleviation schemes or general projects or initiatives supporting the scheme priorities.

Applications need to be submitted electronically using the link at the bottom of this page.
You will see confirmation of your application and a grant reference number upon submission.

Applications for countryside access schemes or rural retailer and community enterprise schemes must follow the specific scheme guidance.

Rural retailers and community enterprises – scheme and application guidance

Countryside access – scheme and application guidance

Before submitting an application you must discuss your project with the Rural Communities Fund Team. Contact us now by email and we will get in touch to advise on the eligibility of your project. When advised follow the guidance below to complete your application form.

Ensure you answer all the questions fully and provide all the information requested to avoid any delays in processing your application.

NOTE: To apply electronically, you must have a valid email address.

Questions 1–6: Contact details for your organisation

This is the main organisation that would be responsible for the grant.

Question 1: Department/Grant Programme

Department: Select - Culture, Communities and Business Services (CCBS)

Grant Stream: Select: - Rural Communities Fund

Questions 7–10: Your project

Question 7: Title of project or service

Try to be as brief as possible, for example, the name of your project

Question 8a: Summary of your project

Use this section to briefly describe what you would like to do and why.

Question 8b: Details of your project

Give full details of the project and tell us what the funding will pay for. This should include:

  • Who will deliver the project - if using a contractor, a quote and specification must be submitted with your application. For works over £2,000 at least two quotes must be provided

  • Where your project will take place - if your project will be delivered on private land, confirm you have permission from the landowner

  • How you will target and engage both individuals and the wider community in your project

  • All partners involved in your project and how they will assist you (e.g. providing funding, help in kind, supporting the project activity, managing the project for you)

Applications for flood alleviation schemes should also use this section to describe how the project will reduce the risk of flooding, without any increase in risk elsewhere. If any consents are required from the Environment Agency and/or Hampshire County Council tell us whether these consents have been granted and submit evidence of this with your application.

If you are applying for under £1,000 tell us where you expect the remaining funds (match funding) will come from.

Question 8c: Project outcomes

This is an opportunity to describe how the community will benefit from the proposed project (e.g. will it help improve quality of life, reduce isolation, reduce flooding risk to properties etc.).  

As part of this section you must also explain how your project meets the scheme priorities, ‘to build community resilience and encourage self-help’ in rural areas. You may wish to refer to evidence in the relevant Socio-economic profile of rural Hampshire report to support this.

Question 8d: How you involved service users in the development of your project

This is an opportunity to describe:

  • How you engaged and consulted your community on the project design and delivery

  • How the need for the project has been identified

  • If your project ties in with any local plans or strategies

  • How you intend to keep the community informed about the project (e.g. parish notice boards, temporary signs on site, parish newsletter etc.) and involve them in its evaluation

Question 9: Project dates and frequency

Give the estimated start and finish dates of your project and detail if it is recurring or one-off (e.g. improvement works).

Note: we do not fund retrospectively so the start date for your project must be in the future.

Questions 11–15: Finance

Question 11: Financial reserves

The reserves referred to in this section are free reserves i.e. funds your organisation holds that are not required for the running of your organisation during this financial year i.e. savings.

Organisations will not normally be eligible for grants where they hold unallocated reserves in excess of one year’s running costs. In cases where reserves held exceed this level a reduced level of funding may be agreed. All charitable organisations are expected to have an agreed reserves policy that addresses their financial risk.

Question 12: Cost detail

List the full costs of your project and include any VAT costs that are not recoverable. In-kind contributions should be included as part of the project costs.

Question 13: Income

This question does not apply to grant applications under £1,000, instead detail your match funding as part of question 8b, including any in-kind contributions.

Provide information on all sources of funding for your project and indicate whether it has been confirmed or if not confirmed the date the decision is expected.

Question 14a: Project finance summary

A summary of your project income and expenditure will be automatically calculated using your responses to questions 12 and 13 (online application form only). You will need to enter the amount of grant funding you are requesting, which must not be higher than the calculated shortfall.

Question 14b: How the project will be sustainable

Confirm how you plan to manage the interests of the project in the longer term, including who will be responsible for any additional costs (e.g. maintenance).

Question 20: Equalities

Address a-d as best you can. We are not looking for comprehensive policies – just some bullet points, examples of things which may be relevant to include are:

  • We have an equality and diversity policy. We ensure our staff receive equalities and diversity training. We actively encourage and support all sectors of the community including those having protected characteristics to take part in this project

  • We have an open and transparent recruitment and promotion policy

  • The organisation’s culture fully embraces diversity

  • Our constitution/ this project focuses on fostering good community relations across all sectors of society by...

  • This project will advance equality of opportunity for everyone by…

Documentation to be submitted

You only need to send the same document once over a 12 month period. If you have sent us your documents in the last 12 months tell us the grant reference number to which they were attached if possible.

We would appreciate electronic document attachments. Submit online or email to

If, however, you only have a paper copy write this in the documentation section and send a paper copy to the Rural Communities Fund.

The following documents should be submitted:

  • Any evidence that your project is supported by the local community (e.g. email or letter from the Parish Council if not the applicant; extract from meeting minutes etc.)

  • A copy of your project plan

  • Copies of quotes (at least two for projects over £2,000) and a specification if employing a contractor

  • Copies of any consents or permissions required to complete your project

Monitoring Information

This information will help us to plan and fund areas of work where there are significant gaps and needs. If you need to collect this information from your staff or service users then it is important that you give them a choice as to whether they choose to give this personal information.

Please read our terms and conditions before applying.

Applications should be submitted electronically. If you are unable to do this please complete the pdf form below and send it to the relevant grant department.

Rural communities other schemes form for grants £1000 and under
Rural communities other schemes form for grants over £1000