UK Shared Prosperity Fund

Find out more on the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, what it means for East Herts and applying for a business grant.

What is the UK Shared Prosperity Fund?

It is £1,773,136 to be spent between now and 31 March 2025 on supporting our communities, businesses, towns and villages and tackling climate change. 

East Herts is a partially rural area, so the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has provided an extra £472,841 from the Rural Prosperity Fund, meaning East Herts will oversee an additional £2,245,977 of investment in the district in the next 2-3 years.

How will the money be spent?

Having engaged with partners across the district to identify investment priorities, the council agreed to support four areas:

  1. Delivering the district’s cultural strategy: funding community and voluntary groups to increase inclusion and participation in different events and activities. 
  2. Delivering the district’s climate change strategy: funding the installation of more low-carbon technology and encouraging behaviour change.
  3. Supporting improvements in town and village centres to increase footfall.
  4. Supporting businesses with grants to invest in new technology or diversify their income.

Read more in the council report.

Apply for a business grant

A total of £523,000 is available to support businesses. 

To be eligible to apply, you must be undertaking a new activity that meets one or more of the “Levelling Up” interventions:

E17: Development and promotion of the visitor economy
E19: Investment in research and development at the local level
E20: Research and development grants supporting innovative product and service development
E28: Export grants to grow overseas trading.
E29: Supporting decarbonisation whilst growing the local economy

There are two types of grants available:

1.    Grants for new premises (up to £3,000)

This is for businesses in any sector planning to open a new trading premise in the district or an existing business looking to expand its current premises. Up to £3,000 is available towards the cost of doing so. This must be match-funded at 50%, meaning we would expect the applicant to invest at least the same amount to be eligible. 
To be eligible for the 24/25 allocation, you must have:

  • Signed a new lease agreement with the landlord (this will be required as proof of costs), on or after the 1st of February 2024, or in the case of expanding the business demonstrate additional building/fit-out costs and business rates’ liability
  • Be registered for business rates’ within East Herts 
  • Be able to demonstrate the business is genuinely new (ie. not just changing hands between owners)
  • Have not received a business support grant from East Herts in the last 3 years
  • For 2024/25, we have £25,000 available in this grant pot, and applications are considered on a first-come, first-served basis until the pot has been used. If you think may be eligible for support or wish to learn more, please contact Chris Smith: / 07712 512489

2.    Grants for new activities (up to £50,000)

This is for existing businesses in any sector and could include the following:

  • Diversifying business activity – grants to help businesses develop new products/ services. For example, this could be research and development to bring an idea to market.
  • Investing in old infrastructure (e.g. buildings) to ensure they can generate income. For example, this could be updating older commercial stock to attract new tenants or converting agricultural buildings to operate in the hospitality sector.
  • Investing in new equipment or technology to increase productivity or increase competitiveness.

Any grant must be match-funded at 50%. This means that the grant can only cover up to 50% of the cost of the new activity, with your business financing the rest. 
If you think you may be eligible or wish to learn more, please email Chris Smith: or 07712 512489.

An initial expression of interest form will be required, setting out how your proposals align with the grant objectives. If we feel the proposal could be considered further, you will be required to fill in a full application form for us to evaluate.
Grants will be scored using a combination of how well they deliver outcomes and outputs, according to the following specific criteria:

Outcomes% weighting
Number of commercial buildings developed or improved (numerical value)15
Amount of commercial buildings developed or improved (m2)55
Number of rehabilitated premises (numerical value)15
Number of businesses engaged in new markets (numerical value)15


Outputs% weighting
Jobs created (numerical value)40
Jobs safeguarded (numerical value)10
Increased amount of investment (£)20
Number of businesses introducing new products to the firm (numerical value)5
Number of businesses adopting new to the firm technologies or processes (numerical value)5
Number of new to market products (numerical value)10
Number of businesses engaged in new markets (numerical value)5
Number of businesses increasing their export capability (numerical value)5