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Match funding and In-Kind Contributions

What is Match Funding?

Match funding is the amount which organisations, other than Rural Priorities, give towards the eligible costs of a project.

Depending on the rate of support through Rural Priorities, applicants may wish to apply for match funding from other sources before applying to Rural Priorities.

When do I need to secure Match Funding?

Depending on the rate of support through Rural Priorities and the amount of money that is being applied for, you may need to secure other funding. It is not a requirement that all match funding must be secured before a Statement of Intent is submitted, but you should aim to have match funding secured by the time that you commit your Proposal. Exceptionally, at that stage applicants may:

  • provide the dates on which decisions on other match funding will be announced, ideally within three months of the Proposal being committed, or
  • confirm that they will be seeking support from e.g. a bank and require the Rural Priorities contract before being able to secure that funding. The letters of support must quantify the amounts of match funding available from each individual institution.

Evidence of Match funding:


  • Letter of support are acceptable at proposal stage. They must be supplied on headed notepaper.
  • However, if the application is approved, a contract will not be issued until the applicant supplies full confirmation detailing the amount of the match funding and conditions including timescale and any other conditions. Only then will the contract be issued.

What sources can I use as match funding?

Rural Priorities will accept match funding from all other sources including other Government funding, Lottery (Heritage Lottery Fund, Awards for All, Big Lottery, etc.), enterprise companies, local authority funding, Landfill Communities Fund, charitable trusts, etc., except Communities and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES)

What can't I use as Match Funding?

You cannot use match funding from Communities and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES)

You cannot use match funding from other European Union (EU) sources including:

  • other Scotland Rural Development Programme (SRDP) funds, e.g. LEADER,
  • European Social Fund (ESF), e.g. Highlands and Islands Partnership Programme,
  • European Regional Development (ERDF),
  • LIFE,
  • Interreg.

Can I count In-kind Contributions?

In-kind contributions are non-cash contributions to a project, typically donated goods and services, which are necessary for the project and would otherwise have to be purchased for the project to go ahead. For Rural Priorities, the only in-kind contribution that will be treated as eligible expenditure is the provision of land or real estate and this applies only where all of the following apply:

  • there is a direct link between the land acquisition and the objectives of the project to be funded;
  • they are not already owned by the applicant or a project partner;
  • they have been identified and valued by an independent, qualified valuer or duly authorised official body, which has then provided a certificate confirming that the valuation price does not exceed the market value;
  • the value of the land / real estate does not represent more than 10% of the total, other eligible expenditure of the project; (value in excess of 10% would be ineligible)
  • national or European Community grants have not previously contributed towards their purchase and / or development.

Table 1. Example calculation of in kind contribution of land to a project




Total costs of project, including land purchase



Value of land being provided in kind



Other eligible costs (total costs - land value)



Eligible land value = (10% of 40,000)



Total eligible costs (other eligible costs + eligible land purchase costs)



Total ineligible costs



Rural Priorities grant @ 50% of £44,000



For Rural Priorities, staff or other costs are not eligible as in-kind contributions, but may be counted as eligible project costs.

What about State Aid and Match Funding?

Particularly for applications supporting non-agricultural, commercial activities, Rural Priorities funding may be regarded as a State Aid. Other public funding may also be regarded as State Aid.

You should contact the other public funders of your project and check with them whether they regard their funding as State Aids and, if so, under what terms they awarded it (e.g. De Minimis State Aid or General Block Exemption). You should then provide this information to the Case Officer when you submit your proposal to Rural Priorities as it may affect the level of funding that can be awarded. Please see attached guidance on how to work out if your project or activity is likely to be affected.