Daventry District Council has put £30,000 into a new fund aimed at creating 'rural business hubs' across the district.
The money will help groups make improvements to community facilities to meet the needs of rural businesses and applications for grants of up to £10,000 will be made available to make any adaptations to buildings.
A village hall, for example, may wish to create a business meeting room with audio-visual equipment and Wi-Fi capability for instance, or make renovations and improvements that would encourage small businesses to make bookings.
Councillor Colin Poole, DDC’s economic, regeneration and employment portfolio holder said: “Developing and supporting businesses in our rural areas is one of the priorities for this council, so we’re delighted to announce this new funding.
“It could help village halls create meeting spaces for local businesses, or encourage their use by local fitness instructors, or nursery and childcare businesses for instance. This not only carries the potential to boost rural business and employment opportunities, but community groups and facilities stand to benefit from the improvements and the extra bookings they would bring.
“There are lots of possibilities, and I would encourage communities to work with us so improvements can be made for the benefit of everyone.”
The fund has been created as part of a council commitment to develop and support the rural economy and it is welcoming applications between now and the end of March 2018, with funding available from April 2018.
It also follows the suggestion of a task panel set up by the council’s scrutiny & improvement committee, which proposed the use of village facilities to help rural businesses.
To find out more information, including details of how to apply, visit www.daventrydc.gov.uk/communitygrants or firstname.lastname@example.org.