Small rural businesses and community groups are welcoming grants totalling £300,000, providing a boost to the rural economy. 

Dover District Council (DDC) was allocated the funding through the Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF) with local organisations invited to apply for a share. 

Businesses were asked to demonstrate how the money could be used to support new jobs and growth, and non-profit making organisations had to show how funding would support the local community and fifteen applicants – a mix of rural businesses and community groups – were successful in their bids. 

Among them was Woodnesborough Community Project, a charity dedicated to providing facilities that promote health, fitness and recreation to local people, which received £20,000 for a clubhouse refurbishment.

The charity runs grassroots football club Woodnesborough FC which has senior and youth teams, as well as a walking football team. 

Rural businesses and community groups welcome funding boost

Trustee Calvin Wood said:

“With this generous funding, we aim to replace the flooring in the clubhouse, which is over 40 years old, re-decorate inside and out, and lay a patio. 

“These changes will make our facilities much more welcoming to the users from the local community, thus increasing the use of it.  

“Having superb facilities will also attract additional players and new groups.” 

Green Hub Recycling was another successful applicant, receiving £19,500 in REPF funding for a new recycling machine. 

The Aylesham-based company was launched in 2021 by husband-and-wife partnership Dr Matt and Raweerat Ogilvie and specialises in recycling business-to-business post-industrial plastic and cardboard. 

Rural businesses and community groups welcome funding boost 1

Dr Ogilvie said:

“The Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF) has provided valuable support to Green Hub Recycling.  

“With support from Dover District Council, REPF has provided valuable financial assistance to enhance Green Hub’s ability to invest in the machinery and staff necessary to support the company’s continued growth.  

“We are exceptionally grateful to the Council in allowing us to access this funding.” 

Coldred Forum, a group open to all residents of Coldred and Upton Wood, received £24,999 to refurbish the village pond. 

The group was set up to help protect and take care of the village environment, run events to benefit the community, and as a forum for residents to express their views on matters relevant to the village. 

Rural businesses and community groups welcome funding boost 2

Marien Elgar from Coldred Forum said:

“We thought it would take several years to raise the money we needed to fix our pond.   

“With this grant we can start fixing it straight away and have it looking its best again next year.” 

DDC leader Cllr Kevin Mills said:

“Rural areas and their communities are hugely important to this district so we’re pleased to see businesses and groups benefitting once again from the Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF) 

“This funding will help organisations develop new products and facilities which will boost the rural economy. 

“It will also support new and improved infrastructure to provide essential community services for local people living and working in rural areas, which form a key part of our district.” 

To see the full list of successful applicants go to 

By Ed

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