Applying for the 5G Rural Connected Communities Project

The DCMS 5G Programme Rural Connected Communities grant funding competition is open for applications.

About the Rural Connected Communities (RCC) competition

The Rural Connected Communities (RCC) competition will fund up to 10 5G research and development projects to run over the course of two years.

These projects will trial innovative use cases and technical solutions to build the business case for investment in rural connectivity and explore the capabilities of 5G to benefit rural communities. They will also help demonstrate demand from a variety of economic sectors and rural communities for 5G technologies.

Connectivity applications are expected to show a combination of societal and economic benefits that will together create a stronger case for investing in the deployment of 5G infrastructure for rural areas.

This​ ​competition​​ ​is​ ​open​ ​to​ applications from consortia​ ​from​ ​across​ ​the​ ​UK. Consortia are likely to consist of a mixture of organisations including the public, private and third sectors, and academia.

Competition timeline

Competition opens 27 August 2019
Briefing events Competition briefing event 12 September 2019 - The Carriageworks, 3 Millennium Square, Leeds, LS2 3AD. Registration is open via
Clarification questions receipt deadline 27 September 2019
Competition closes Midday 25 October 2019
Shortlist applicants notified 14 November 2019
Shortlisted applicants interviewed 25 November - 6 December 2019
Successful applicants notified December 2019
Grant claim period From 1 January 2020 until 31 March 2022

How to apply

Step 1 - review the RCC Overview and Application Guidance

First of all review the Rural Connected Communities - Overview and Application Guidance. This will help you understand how the funding for the programme is set and the criteria we’re looking for applications to fulfil.

If you’re interested in applying for the RCC competition, you can sign up to the UK5G RCC collaboration platform to connect with other organisations which are interested in forming a consortium. We will also be holding a Competition Briefing Event in Leeds on 12 September which will encourage networking and clarify the competition scope and application process.

Step 2 - complete the RCC Project Application Form, Finance Form and provide supporting information as requested in the Application Guidance

Next complete the RCC Project Application Form, Finance Form and provide supporting information as requested in the Application Guidance. You will need to give us information on:

  • Applicant information

  • Public description

  • Your business plan

  • How you’ll deliver your project

  • Funding and added value

  • Any appendices

You can find more detail on how to fill out the form in the Rural Connected Communities - Overview and Application Guidance.

Step 3 - email us your application documents

Email your application documents to

What happens next

We’ll assess the bids we’ve received and shortlist the best of these based on the criteria outlined in the guidance.

If you’ve been shortlisted, we’ll let you know by 14 November 2019.

You’ll be invited for an interview between 25 November - 6 December and we’ll let you know whether your bid has been successful by the end of December.


Central government funding for RCC will come from the £200m of investment that has been allocated to the 5G Testbeds and Trials Programme from the National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF).


1. Rural Connected Communities - Overview and Application Guidance

2. Rural Connected Communities - Application Form

3. Rural Connected Communities - Project Finance Form

4. 5G Testbeds and Trials - General Guidance for Grant Applicants

5. 5G Testbeds and Trials - Eligible Project Costs Guidance

6. 5G Testbeds and Trials - Guidance for academics applying via the Je-S system

7. Rural Connected Communities - Template Grant Funding Agreement

8. Rural Connected Communities - Potential Monitoring Indicators / Quarterly Benefits Reporting Template

9. 5G Testbeds and Trials - Programme Participation Agreement

10. Rural Connected Communities - Q&A

Contact us

If you have any questions or would like more clarification first of all check out our Q&A.

If the Q&A doesn’t answer you query, please contact us on

Your question and respective answer will added to Q&A unless commercially sensitive.

Published 27 August 2019
Last updated 12 September 2019 + show all updates
  1. We've updated the Rural Connected Communities - Q&A.
  2. First published.