Farming Minister Victoria Prentis has said the UK Levelling Up Fund and the Shared Prosperity Fund (SPF) will take into account the specific needs of rural communities.
The Levelling Up Fund, which has been set up with the aim of boosting prosperity in areas outside London, will be worth $4bn in England and £800m will be made available to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Local areas will be able to apply for up to £20m from the fund to spend on projects with widespread community support, such as improving rural infrastructure or housing.
Speaking at the Sustain annual conference last week (November 9), Ms Prentis said: “The Government intends to work with local communities in the delivery of the fund so it supports citizens across the UK.
“It will invest in people, communities and local businesses to level up and create opportunity in places which need it most and in places where there are real labour market barriers.
“The Government will publish proposals for the levelling up fund and launch the first round of competitions in the new year.”
The separate Shared Prosperity Fund will be worth around £1.5bn a year, but may not be available until 2022.
According to the Treasury, this cash will be targeted at places across the UK which are most in need, such as rural and coastal communities and deprived towns.
It could be used to invest in employment and skills training, tailored to local needs; rural infrastructure; cultural facilities; community-owned assets or digital connectivity.
To help local areas prepare for the introduction of the SPF, the Government will provide extra funding across the UK to pilot programmes and new approaches.
More precise details about the fund are expected to be published next spring.