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Hampshire County Council Grants

Rural Retailers and Community Enterprises Grant Scheme

The scheme is managed and funded by Hampshire County Council.

It has been set up to support and bolster local rural retailers and community enterprises by providing financial support to develop these services which are offered in rural areas.

We are keen to support retailers to grow, increase their productivity by enhancing existing services and providing new ones. The grants will also aim to encourage development of both new and existing community enterprises, particularly ideas that are innovative, have a retailing element and show potential for economic and social gains.

We are also keen to support the introduction of local products and locally produced food and drink into rural retailing outlets. We would particularly like to encourage projects that are looking to introduce or expand their range by collaborating with both Hampshire Fare (a not for profit membership organisation dedicated to support local producers and businesses raise awareness of Hampshire food and drink) and other local businesses and producers.

When to apply

Applications are accepted at any time, but once you submit your application, you must be ready to start work within 4 months and complete your project within 12 months of receiving a grant offer.

Before submitting the full application, please complete our Project Enquiry Form Microsoft Word 58kB so that we can feedback on your eligibility before applying.

Please save the form to your computer, complete it, then return it to us by attaching it to an email to:

Grant Criteria and Eligibility

We can provide grants of between £1,500 and £20,000. Eligible businesses/enterprises must contribute a minimum of 50% of total eligible costs. Therefore the total minimum project cost would be £3,000 (achieving a grant of £1,500).

For commercial businesses, the match funding cannot be sourced from any other grant making authority. For community enterprises, the match funding can be sourced from other grants.

Who can apply?

Applications are competitive and therefore projects must be able to demonstrate how they will grow their business and provide value for money. They must also show how they will enhance the local community. A short 3 year business plan must be included within the application. We can only fund businesses within a population area/village of less than 5,000 residents and applicants must prove that they are not in direct competition with another business in the same village.

The scheme is available to any retailing business/enterprise selling any of the following:- food/drink; essential fresh produce; locally sourced food (many village shops in Hampshire selling local produce are members of Hampshire Fare and applicants are encouraged to consider becoming members). We may consider supporting craft industries if applicants can demonstrate how they would impact positively on other local food retailing businesses. Below is an example of eligible businesses/enterprises:-

We aim to encourage innovative schemes designed to boost community services and retailers that can develop profitable businesses that will impact positively on the local area, community and economy. We will also encourage collaboration between businesses that will create joint benefits.

The assessment of applications will give consideration to the impact of a grant upon other retailers offering similar services in the vicinity. Projects may not be supported that provide direct competition for an existing business, individual circumstances will be considered when appraising projects.  Projects will also need to demonstrate their long-term viability and ensure that environmental issues have been considered.

Eligible activities

Below is a list of the sorts of projects we could fund, this list is not exclusive. To find out if your idea is eligible, please complete our Project Enquiry Form for feedback on your project.

Non-eligible activities

The scheme will not fund:

Application Process

Project enquiry forms are available from:

Further information or any questions:

Tel: 01962 854460 or 01962 846571

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

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