Rural Business Page

Rural Business Page


West Berkshire is home to many large rural businesses including Englefield Estate, Yattendon Estate, Dyson Farm and horse training facilities in Lambourn. We want to work with these businesses to bring economic prosperity in our rural areas to benefit the residents and businesses within our rural areas.

Below is a collection of information which rural businesses may find useful as guidance on commercial activities.

Rural Area Projects 

Rural Prosperity Fund

The aim of this fund is to invest in rural capital, and we are grateful for the Department's support in our mission to create positive change in our community. The funding will be received over the next two financial years. Out of the total amount received, £297,994 will be allocated to the Business Capital Grant Scheme (name TBC), £100,000 will be allocated to the Village Halls Digital Infrastructure and Energy Grant Scheme, and £200,000 will be allocated to the Eling Cycle Way Extension project.

Apply Now 

Whole Estate Plans

West Berkshire Council is going to be developing and implementing an Whole Estate Plan to make it easier for rural businesses advance with their commercial goals and expansions. We are at early stages of this and will be announcing more once we have started the pilot scheme. The aim is to work with one of our local businesses to test out the scheme before rolling it out widely. 

Environmental Projects 

Environmental Projects Funding and Advice 

To hear about relevant funding make sure you sign up to the West Berkshire Council’s Environment Newsletter below


Unfortunately there isn’t a comprehensive ‘catch all’ tool to search all grants/funding available but there might assist:

•Forestry Commission - Grant and regulation News

Website Subscription Page

•General Search tool

Grant Finder

Natural Capital Income Opportunities

We are currently developing detail around our approach to natural capital and therefore don’t have any formal documentation available. Please come and talk to us if you are interested in becoming involved.

Carbon Measuring Tool

Farming/Estate specific

West Berkshire Council does not currently us a Farming/Estate specific carbon measuring tool and does not endorse a specific platform. However along with our partners we are researching specific Farming/Estate carbon measuring tools including the Farm Carbon Toolkit.


The toolkit is an independent, farmer-led enterprise; supporting other farmers to measure, understand and act on their greenhouse gas emissions, while improving business resilience for the future.

It will calculate total carbon emissions and carbon offsets (CO2e). The calculator can be used by all farmers and growers irrespective of farm scale, soil type or location within the UK. The calculator is free for farmers/growers who are not using it for directly profitable purposes. For paid advisors/consultants there’s a licence charge and training on offer.

General  GHG monitoring advice

Greenhouse Gas Protocol

The tools allow companies to develop inventories of their GHG emissions. The calculations tools are electronic Excel spreadsheets with accompanying step-by-step guidance documents.

Carbon Trust

The carbon trust to help by measuring, managing and reducing a business’s carbon footprint. This allows you to identify a baseline from which you can implement an effective sustainability and carbon reduction strategy.

Planning FAQs

Q: What does the pre-application currently offer and what can businesses expect at the end of it?

A: Early engagement has significant potential to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the planning application system for all parties. Good quality pre-application discussion enables better coordination between public and private resources and improved outcomes for the community.  The more issues that can be resolved at pre-application stage, the greater the benefits.

West Berkshire Council offers a pre-application advice service with a range of options from advice in principle (identifying any fundamental policy showstoppers) to detailed feedback on emerging proposals.  Advice is given in writing, and there are options for planning officer site visits and follow-up meetings.

You can find out more on our website:

Pre-planning Guidance

Pre-planning fees

Q: Is there a way to speak to the planner for them to understand the business better before an application?

A: Yes, you can arrange a meeting with a planner through the pre-application process. There are various options that could help with understanding your business case better.

Q: What are the steps to ensure a planning application is considered in all service areas?

A: We have a consultation period of at least 21 days where we identify groups that would have relevant stake in the planning application, for example: neighbouring residents, environmental agency, local town and parishes and economic development. All parties comments are then passed to the case office to consider.  All comments are made visible in our public website. At the end of the consultation, the case officer will assess the application taken into account planning policies, any comments received and any other relevant planning considerations. In some cases, minor amendments or additional information will be accepted for consideration in line with our published negotiation strategy.

Planning Application Process

Q: How can businesses make sure they articulate their business plans better for planning consideration

A: You can prepare a business plan or economic statement to accompany your application. You can use this to fully articulate what the expected benefits of the development will be to your business so that interested parties and the decision maker have a  full understanding and give the right amount of weight to the benefits. For example we would be interested in anticipated employment generation, how would the development support the existing business, and any information or data on economic, social or environmental benefits you envision from the development.

*Please note, all application documents will be made available for public inspection

Planning Advice

Further Information 

Nutrient Neutrality 

Community Infrastructure Levy