The Rural Community Development Fund has been set up to enable for small-scale infrastructure projects to improve community cohesion in rural areas of Wales.
The Fund is intended to support:
- Improvement or expansion of local basic services.
- Community transport and connectivity.
- Renewable energy projects.
- Village renewal and public amenities.
For support for drawing up development plans and protection and management plans, the maximum grant contribution will be no more than: 50% of eligible costs. A minimum limit of grant of £400 will apply.
For support for studies and investments for maintenance, restoration and upgrading of cultural and natural heritage, the maximum grant contribution from the grant level will be no more than: 50% of eligible costs. A minimum limit of grant of £400 will apply.
For facilitating the supply and use of renewable sources of energy, of by-products, wastes and residues and of other non-food raw material, for the purposes of the bio-economy, fostering local development in rural areas and enhancing accessibility to, use and quality of information and communication technologies (ICT) in rural areas, the maximum grant contribution will be no more than 80% of the total eligible project costs.
A minimum limit of grant of £2,400 will apply.
For small-scale infrastructure investments the maximum grant per project is £128,000 towards a total project cost of £160,000.
Examples of the kinds of activities that would be eligible under RCDF include the following:
- Support for drawing up development plans and protection and management plans.
- Support for investments in the creation, improvement or expansion of all types of small scale infrastructure, including investments in renewable energy and energy saving.
- Support for broadband infrastructure, including its creation, improvement and expansion, passive broadband infrastructure and provision of access to broadband and public e-government.
- Support for investments in the setting-up, improvement or expansion of local basic services for the rural population including leisure and culture, and the related infrastructure.
- Support for investments for public use in recreational infrastructure, tourist information and small scale tourism infrastructure.
- Support for studies and investments for maintenance, restoration and upgrading of cultural and natural heritage.
Businesses, public and voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector organisations in rural areas of Wales may be eligible to apply
The first deadline for Expressions of Interest is 31 January 2016.