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Cash boost for rural economy across districts

More than £1m is available to help improve the rural economy across South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse.

Both district councils have secured funding from the government’s Rural England Prosperity Fund, which can be used to provide a boost to projects such as creating rural business hubs, setting up community energy schemes and diversifying farm businesses beyond agriculture.

They are now asking for Expressions of Interest to understand which organisations might apply and for what type of project.

Councillor David Rouane, Leader of South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “The rural economy is a vital part of our district so it’s great we’ve been able to secure this funding from the government.

Councillor Bethia Thomas, Leader of Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “I’d encourage anyone who thinks this fund might help them to complete an expression of interest – that way we’ll better understand demand in the districts before the application process opens in the Autumn this year.”

Cllr Paul Barrow, Vale Champion for Food and Farming, said: “I’ve met with farmers and food producers across the Vale and know the value they bring. I’m looking forward to seeing this money make a difference.”

Any organisation with legal status is eligible. This includes:

  • public sector organisations
  • higher and further education institutions
  • private sector companies
  • voluntary organisations
  • registered charities

You can find out more details on the scheme and download the Expression of Interest form on the South Oxfordshire REPF page and Vale of White Horse REPF page.

Anyone with questions about the scheme please email