Rural Transport Grants Scheme

The Rural Grants Scheme is funding which aims to provide new passenger transport routes across the entire Mid Suffolk district.

We would like the scheme to fund new provisions which move away from the stereotypical view of community transport services, by appealing to a wide demographic of people. The new provisions will help people - of all ages - to travel to places that they need and want to travel to, in a more environmentally sustainable way.

There are six grants available, and each grant is worth up to £100,000.

Each grant is for delivery within a specified 'area of operation'. You may apply for as many grants (or areas of operation) as you like, via one application submission.

The six areas of operation are:

  1. Central Mid Suffolk
  2. South Mid Suffolk
  3. South East Mid Suffolk
  4. South West Mid Suffolk
  5. North East Mid Suffolk
  6. North West Mid Suffolk

We have produced a map which details the boundaries of each area of operation. You are also able to check which villages and parishes each area serves, as well as where they feed into:

View the Scheme's six areas of operation


You can apply for the Rural Grants Scheme via our online application form:

Apply for the Rural Grants Scheme

The application closing date is Monday 15 April 2024.

When you apply, we recommend you use our Rural Transport Grants Scheme guidance notes to help you.

If you have any queries about the opportunity - or the application process - please email

Application requirements

There will be no expectation for you, as an operator, to use full-sized buses for provision. Smaller passenger vehicles (for example, 16-19 seater minibuses or large 'people carrier' cars) may be more suitable.

We ask that you develop a proposal which:

  • provides services which are accessible to all
  • operates a flexible-scheduled service, or a fully demand responsive service and:-
    • defines exact routes if the service is going to be a flexible-scheduled route, through investigation into missing connectivity and community consultation
    • provides a pre-booking service available by both phone and app, if the service is going to be demand responsive
  • delivers provision at useful times for those accessing work, education, healthcare, shops and services, as well as the night-time economy (ideally operating between 7am - 11pm each day)
  • connects people to onward travel sustainable transport connections
  • delivers provision in the most environmentally sustainable way possible (for example, by trying to reduce as much dead mileage as possible, or by using low carbon vehicles or biofuel if possible)
  • works with partners to make the provision recognisable, integrated and joined-up
  • promotes the new services to local people
  • is willing and able to incorporate or 'phase in' zero emission vehicles, as well as new and improved demand responsive transport apps into new new routes (should we, or our partners, be successful in securing these in future)

How applications will be assessed

Funding award decisions will be made by a panel of cross-party, cross-ward Mid Suffolk Councillors - with support from district and county council officers who work within the sustainable travel and passenger transport workstream.

Applications will not be dismissed if they do not meet every single criteria within the funding requirements brief. However, applicants will be judged on how effectively their proposal meets those requirements and the ethos of the funding - and how the proposal offers good value for money.