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Last chance for EU funding

Wed 13 July 2016

Although the UK has voted to leave the EU, grants are still available - grab them while you can! Stags Professional Services can offer advice and assistance with applications and all aspects of a number of schemes including the Basic Payment Scheme (previously the Single Payment Scheme), Countryside Stewardship, Water Capital Grants and the new Hedgerow and Boundaries Grants.

The 2016 deadlines have now passed for the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) and the Hedgerow and Boundary Grants, however you have until 30th September to apply for either a Countryside Stewardship agreement or capital grant.

Previously BPS claimants were expected to do what could be considered the bare minimum under Cross Compliance, whereas the new ‘greening’ measures have attempted to make more environmentally friendly farming practices compulsory for those claiming rather than voluntary measures under the previous Environmental Stewardship Schemes. Naturally this means that the new Countryside Stewardship Scheme has become more competitive, with claimants expected to do more in return for the incentive than in previous years. However it still provides an opportunity for some extra income in return for farming practices that are not necessarily too onerous.

The capital grant schemes, which form part of the Countryside Stewardship Scheme run by Natural England, are particularly useful for one-off projects such as concreting, roofing over slurry/manure stores, rain water harvesting, hedge laying, bank restoration and much more. The capital grant schemes can offer thousands of pounds towards your project if it is eligible. The Water Capital Grant Scheme applies to land within Catchment Sensitive Farming priority areas and is aimed at reducing diffuse water pollution from agriculture offering funding for items such as concreting yards, roofing over slurry/manure storage or fencing away watercourses. These Water Capital Grants require endorsement from your local Catchment Sensitive Farming Officer who must be contacted by 12th August 2016 if you are considering making an application.

For further advice or an informal discussion please telephone 01392 439046 / or email professional@stags.co.uk for contact details of the nearest Stags Professional Services Department.

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