Council relaunches grants for rural Harborough business

Published Monday 25 March 2024

Businesses in the Harborough district are encouraged to apply for grant funding again through the Harborough Rural Grant Scheme 2024/25.

Information about the Harborough Rural Grant Scheme 2024/25
Capital grants are available for rural businesses to help them diversify, innovate and grow

Eligible applicants can benefit from grants between £5,000-£20,000 to support their business to diversify, innovate and grow.

The council is keen to support exciting projects that will help local businesses and the wider economy and community.

The scheme spans across four themes:

  • Farm Business Diversification

Supports farm businesses to diversify their business activities outside of agricultural activities. Such projects should improve business resilience, development, and revenue

  • Innovate and Grow

Support micro and small enterprises in rural areas looking to deliver innovative projects. Funding will support projects that change the way businesses do something, to improve efficiencies and to generate more income. Projects will need to demonstrate how they are helping to overcome a rural issue or barrier they face in order to grow

  • Green Technology

Support businesses to invest in energy efficient and low carbon technologies. This means businesses can invest in green technology that will improve their carbon footprint. Businesses could also use this funding to develop their own green technology which can be used to improve the carbon footprint of their business and/or other businesses

  • Rural Tourism

Capital grants to develop local tourism attractions, facilities, or infrastructure to enhance the rural visitor economy and increase opportunities to attract visitors to our rural areas.

Applicants must be based in rural areas in the Harborough district which can be identified in the grant policy. Before applying, businesses must review the full policy which includes the eligibility criteria.

Applications will open on Tuesday 26 March 2024 and close on Friday 27 September 2024. Find out more details here:

Cllr Galton, Deputy Leader of Harborough District Council, said: “Building on the success of the scheme last year, we are delighted to use funding from the Rural England Prosperity Fund to support rural businesses in the Harborough district with growth and development. We want rural businesses to do well so I encourage them to go online and apply.”

Edward Brown, of The Kings Head, in Smeeton, which received a grant in 2023/24, said: “Being awarded a grant has helped the business grow. It has allowed us to completely transform an underused, environmentally inefficient space, into a flexible room that provides additional seating for events, meals and a cafe. This, we hope, will allow us to provide a better level of service to the community.

“The pub stopped serving food nearly five years ago, so being able to provide appropriate space, whether in a cafe capacity, or otherwise, is a big step forward for us. So far, in under a month, we have hosted three fully booked food events in the space and hope to open the cafe around Easter time. To have been able to achieve this in our first year of trading would not have been possible without this support.”

The grants are being managed and distributed by Harborough District Council using funding received from the government through the Rural England Prosperity Fund which is an extension of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

This project has been allocated £230,000 in year two from the Rural England Prosperity Fund, a top-up to the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a central pillar of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025. The Fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills.

For more information, visit

If you have any questions regarding your application, please email