CHESHIRE West and Chester Council has doubled its rural support funding grant for the next financial year.

The funding, launched by Cheshire West and Chester Council last year, has proved to be successful and the council has committed over £150,000 capital funding to making improvements to rural areas.

This year there will be an additional £300,000 available to spend on rural community focussed projects.

Councillor Stuart Parker, chairman of the Rural Support Fund, said: “The success of this funding in the first year clearly demonstrates how our rural communities are developing good community focused projects.

“We are working to support rural regeneration and welcome applications from community groups, charities and not for profit organisations wanting to make genuine improvements in their communities.”

In 2010/11 some changes have been made to the criteria to make the funding easier to access and the maximum amount available for individual applications has been increased to £50,000.

To be successful, organisations need to demonstrate genuine community support for the project and be clear how the local and Cheshire West and Chester communities will benefit.

The projects must demonstrate at least 50% match funding from another source and be delivered within 12 months of the contract being signed.

Councillor Parker added: “We want to see genuine regeneration projects in our rural communities; this could be to promote recreation, improve community facilities or support social enterprises.

“Cheshire West and Chester Council recognise that 65-70% of its area is rural and we need to support our rural communities to secure a sustainable future.”

If you require any further information please contact or call Chris Capes on 01244 973164.