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RCC Impact e-Magazine
Mon, 12 Aug 2019 8:30am

Please see attached for Rural Community Council's quarterly e-magazine, 'Impact', providing an overview of their latest activities across rural Leicestershire and Rutland.

Fri, 12 Jul 2019 10:51am
Rural Community Energy Fund

The Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF), is a £15 million programme, jointly funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (DBEIS). It supports rural communities in England to develop renewable energy projects which provide economic and social benefits to the community.

The Rural Community Energy Fund, (previously administered by WRAP through DEFRA), has had some changes made to it. The most significant change being that Stage one and Stage two are both grants, there is no longer a loan element to the scheme.

The RCEF Guidance notes and Application forms are now finalised for Stage 1 applications, see the attachment for:

  • Pre-application questionnaire
  • Guidance Notes Stage 1
  • Guidance on Stage 1 Assessment Criteria
  • Stage 1 grant application
  • Feasibility Study Structure

If you feel that you meet the criteria, please complete and return the Pre-application questionnaire. The Midlands Energy Hub will then contact you and guide you through the application process.

Please note the first deadline for applications to the Midlands Energy Hub is 9th September 2019.

For more information contact:

Michael Gallagher
Regional Energy Projects Manager
Midlands Energy Hub


Fri, 12 Jul 2019 8:48am

The Countryside Productivity Small Grants scheme Round 2 is now available for all farm types including livestock, horticulture and arable businesses, with a total of £15 million available.

This round is open for just 8 weeks.

The RDPE Countryside Productivity Scheme provides funding for projects in England which improve productivity in the farming and forestry sectors and help create jobs and growth in the rural economy. Under the RDPE Countryside Productivity Scheme, there are grants for:

  • small grants
  • water resource management and reservoirs
  • improving forestry productivity
  • adding value to Agri-food
  • improving farm productivity

The grants are funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). It is administered by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA).

Attention Businesses: Business Breakfast event as part of a major consultation on Leicestershire County Council’s future plans and priorities
Wed, 03 Jul 2019 3:47pm
Attention Businesses: Business Breakfast event as part of a major consultation on Leicestershire County Council’s future plans and priorities

A major consultation has launched on Leicestershire County Council's future plans and priorities. Since 2010, the council has saved £200m but increasing demand for services, plus uncertainty over Government funding, means the council needs to save another £75m over the next four years. Working with businesses is vital and we're holding a business breakfast on Friday 19 July to give you more information on our budget context and the drivers for the consultation.

The event is taking place from 08:00 – 9:30 on Friday 19 July in Sparkenhoe Committee Room at County Hall (Glenfield LE3 8RA) - refreshments will be provided.

This is the first major budget consultation since 2013 so this will be a valuable opportunity for you to share your views and raise any queries.

Please register for the event at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/leicestershires-priorities-business-breakfast-tickets-64600872950

You can find out more about the consultation at: www.leicestershire.gov.uk/priorities

If you need more information or have any questions please email priorities@leics.gov.uk.

Mon, 01 Jul 2019 2:03pm

An Independent Review that will support the development of a National Food Strategy has been launched. The Independent Review is being led by Defra's lead Non-Executive Director Henry Dimbleby, who will collect evidence and consult with a wide range of individuals and organisations that are involved in or directly affected by our food system. He will then present his findings and recommendations to Government.

What is the National Food Strategy?

Food is central to our culture and national identity, with one in eight of us earning our livelihood through food. Being a nation that can feed itself is a vital part of our national sense of belonging. There are a number of challenges that cut across our food system around the environment, food security, farming, health and much more. These issues raise a number of policy questions for Government.

The purpose of the National Food Strategy is to build on the work underway in the Agriculture Bill, the Environment Bill, the Fisheries Bill, the Industrial Strategy and the Childhood Obesity Plan to create an overarching strategy for government which will set out the kind of food system we should be building for the future, and a plan for how to achieve that vision.

Where can I find out more?

The Terms of Reference for the Strategy have now been published here. The Terms of Reference outlines the purpose of the Strategy, the scope of the work and how it will be run.

Henry Dimbleby's team have also set up an external website www.nationalfoodstrategy.org.

Thu, 27 Jun 2019 2:30pm

The Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF) is a £10 million programme which supports rural communities in England to develop renewable energy projects, which provide economic and social benefits to the community.

RCEF provides support to rural communities in 2 stages:

  • stage 1: grants of up to £40,000 for a feasibility study for a renewable energy project
  • stage 2: grants of up to £100,000 for business development and planning of feasible schemes

How to apply

RCEF is being run by 5 regional Local Energy Hubs. If you would like to register your interest for the scheme, or would like further information, please contact michael.gallagher@nottinghamcity.gov.uk, who is the lead in Midlands area.

Wed, 26 Jun 2019 3:28pm

A significant proportion of the budget for the Leicestershire Holiday Activities and Food Programme has now been awarded to 20 projects.

However, there is still funding available as not all of the available budget has been fully allocated.

It has therefore been agreed to re-open the Grant Programme, with a second deadline of Friday 5th July.

The programme is specifically targeted to offer provision to children who are eligible for Free School Meals (FSM), for four hours a day, four days a week, for four weeks (4:4:4).

The aim of the programme is to provide funding to organisations who can deliver school holiday provision for children (and where appropriate, their parents) to achieve the following:

  • to eat more healthily over the summer holidays;
  • to be more active over the summer holidays;
  • to take part in engaging and enriching activities which support the development of resilience, character and wellbeing and other skills;
  • to be safe and not to be socially isolated;
  • to have greater knowledge of health and nutrition; and
  • to be more engaged with school and other local services and to have greater knowledge and awareness of local free holiday provision.

Full details including guidance notes and application form can be found at:


Fri, 21 Jun 2019 2:03pm
Community Supported Agriculture

View the leaflet from Standford Hall C.S.A for information on providing health, sustainable food through community connection.

Rural sports clubs, schools and churches to go green thanks to £10 million Clean Energy Fund
Wed, 19 Jun 2019 3:29pm


  • Rural areas could benefit from £10 million fund that has already helped over 150 rural communities become cleaner and more sustainable by generating enough electricity to power the equivalent of nearly 30,000 homes
  • community groups encouraged to save money on energy bills, reduce emissions and make money by selling energy back to the grid
  • renewable projects that have received funding so far include solar panels on Salisbury Cathedral, Frome Town FC and hydroelectric turbines on the River Dane in Cheshire

Rural sports clubs, schools and churches could power their buildings with clean electricity, cut their bills and reduce emissions thanks to a £10 million government fund.

One beneficiary of the Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF), a project in Frome which included Frome Town FC, installed over 200 kW of solar capacity - enough to power 2,000 light bulbs and strip 333 tons of CO2 being pumped into the local environment. It also generated almost £70,000 for the local community by selling extra solar electricity back to the grid.

New community projects across England are now being encouraged to apply for feasibility grants of up to £40,000 for green initiatives, including solar battery storage, wind, hydro and geothermal heat projects. Viable proposals will also be considered for further grants of up to £100,000 for business development and planning applications, as the government hopes to increase energy self-sufficiency in rural communities and boost jobs in green technology.

It comes just days after the government became one of the first major economies to legislate for net zero emissions by 2050.

Energy and Clean Growth Minister Chris Skidmore, said:

It will take all corners of the country and sections of society to help us to tackle climate change on our path to becoming a net zero emissions economy and communities are at the heart of our mission for a greener planet.

This £10 million fund can help sports clubs, churches and schools not only save money and reduce emissions by creating their own clean energy but also make money by selling it back to the grid.

The RCEF has already supported 152 community renewable energy projects in rural areas helping generate around 105,000 kW of electricity – enough to power the equivalent of nearly 30,000 homes. It's also helped generate thousands of pounds for community coffers thanks to selling electricity back to the grid.

In Wiltshire, RCEF funding has helped not-for profit Salisbury Community Energy develop renewable energy projects at 8 sites across the city, including:

  • exploring the possibility of installing solar panels on the roof of the cloisters of Salisbury cathedral
  • a feasibility study into a hydro project at the Mill in the Maltings

Alison Craig, Development Manager at Salisbury Community Energy, said:

Climate change is going to hit us all hard. The flood risk to Salisbury has, according to the most recent Environment Agency data, risen significantly. This makes the move towards making Salisbury zero carbon all the more important. These grants have enabled us to take the crucial first steps in creating green community assets for our historic city.

The RCEF funding, which is to be managed by 5 Local Energy Hubs around England, is designed to catapult rural areas into the 'clean growth' revolution, helping people living outside urban areas benefit from the income-generating potential of renewable energy.

Communities: find out more. Applications for the new scheme will be managed by 5 regional Local Energy hubs across the UK and hosted by a local authority in each area.

Wed, 05 Jun 2019 4:08pm

Rural Community Council (RCC) are searching for the best rural businesses across Leicestershire and Rutland

If you would like to celebrate and promote an excellent rural business in your local community, why not nominate them for a 2019 rural business award.

Nominations for 2019 are open until 30th June at www.ruralcc.org.uk/awards or by returning the form attached. Entry is free of charge but if your business is chosen as a finalist they will be invited to send a representative to receive an award or runners up certificate at an awards dinner on the evening of 10th October at the prestigious Winstanley House in Leicester. Tickets for the event cost £35 + VAT.

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