Hampshire County Council Grants

Village Shop Grant Scheme

This scheme is a joint initiative between Hampshire County Council, Community Action Hampshire and Hampshire Association of Local Councils.

It has been set up to provide better services locally for rural people and to improve access to essential services not available locally. We specifically want to focus on helping increase the use of Village Shops, particularly those that are losing their Post Offices, and/or support the creation of new community-led village stores.

When to apply

Applications are accepted all year round until the budget is allocated.

Grant criteria and eligibility

  • Grants of up to a maximum of £20K are available.
  • Only one grant will be awarded to each village community within any one financial year. New project applications from the same village may be considered in future years but no funds will be available to support projects or services that have already received grant aid from this scheme.
  • Match funding is not essential but would be welcomed.

Who can apply?

Applications should come from:

  • community associations,

  • village shop associations,

  • parish councils,

  • district councils or formally-constituted voluntary associations.

  • Private businesses can also apply but the relevant parish council will need to support any application in writing.

  • The fund is targeted primarily to communities with populations of less than 5,000. Priority will be given to communities with populations of less than 5,000

  • Independent retailers/commercial enterprises need to be the sole shop in a settlement to be eligible

Who can't apply?

Statutory service providers, non-independent commercial organisations (with more than one outlet ) and national or regional voluntary sector bodies cannot apply.

What is funded

  • Projects that can help replace the footfall of the lost Post Office e.g. new retail services such as local food counters, tea-room, internet café, etc.
  • Initiatives to sustain existing services, e.g. setting up a delivery service or using a community minibus to bring customers in from neighbouring settlements.  
  • Projects supporting creative location of essential services i.e. in pubs, village halls, churches and parish halls or other community venues.

What isn’t funded?

  • Work already carried out
  • Works that are solely to enable compliance with the Disability Discrimination Act and are not an integral part of a larger scheme to significantly improve or deliver new services
  • Maintenance of an existing service or general maintenance of existing premises.

Apply now Application guidance notes and online form



Grant Officer
Economic Development Office
Hampshire County Council
Elizabeth II Court South
The Castle
SO23 8UJ

Telephone 01962 846558

Email to ete.grants@hants.gov.uk