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Farming Investment Fund – Scheme now OPEN!
Defra has now announced details of the long anticipated Farming Investment Fund. The scheme is made up of 2 separate funds which will provide grants to improve productivity and bring environmental benefits.
Farming Equipment and Technology Fund
The Farming Equipment and Technology Fund replaces the former small grant scheme and provides a contribution towards the cost of purchasing equipment from an approved list which will help improve agricultural productivity, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air and water quality amongst other aims.
Changes to the scheme
The minimum grant has reduced to £2,000 to allow smaller businesses the chance to apply with the maximum set at £25,000. The fund has a set grant value for each item and the applicant must pay the balance.
Another welcome change from the previous scheme is that contractors who provide agricultural, horticultural and forestry services can now apply to the fund as long as they are a registered business in England.
What can it fund?
There are now 120 items on the approved list with items for livestock handling such as fixed and mobile race systems for cattle and sheep. Resource management items such as rainwater harvesting tanks and dribble bars and other livestock equipment such as a mobile sheep dip, cluster flush, mobile calf milk dispenser and badger proof feed troughs.
Stags Rural Chartered Surveyor, Sally Blowey, comments that the fund is a great way for farmers and contractors to gain access to innovative equipment to help improve animal welfare and time efficiencies.
Farming Transformation Fund
Meanwhile the Farming Transformation Fund provides grants towards large capital items to help businesses improve productivity, profitability, and environmental sustainability. The Water Management Grant is now open for applications from arable and horticultural businesses. Initially there is an online checker which should be completed to confirm your project is eligible by the 12th January 2022. Successful projects will then be invited to submit a full application by 30th June 2022. The scheme is competitive and applications will be scored against the schemes priorities and perceived value for money.
The fund will cover up to 40% of the eligible costs of a project with a minimum grant of £35,000 and maximum £500,000. A breakdown of project costs should be provided at the full application stage either as a quote or catalogue reference, items over £5,000 will require 3 quotes.
The fund will support the cost of reservoir construction and infrastructure costs such as construction of dam walls, a pump house and pipework as well as irrigation equipment and technology including software to monitor soil moisture levels.
Further grants for improving farm productivity and adding value will be launched in the coming months.
‘The application window for both funds is short, with the water management grant being competitive it is advisable to make an application as early as possible and start making arrangements so that current delays in the supply chain and obtaining planning permission, if required, don’t cause you to miss out’ says Jessica Allsop of Stags Professional Services department.
If you would like further information or for Stags to apply on your behalf then please contact your local professional;
West Devon & Cornwall
Mid Devon & North Devon
Somerset, Dorset & East Devon
Stags Professional Services team are hosting an online webinar this December to provide further information about the grants and to answer any questions you may have regarding this funding. We have two available dates for the webinar:
Friday 10th December at 1.00pm
Monday 13th December at 5.00pm
To book your place, please email email@example.com stating which webinar you will be attending.
Farming Equipment and Technology Fund
· Applications open now until noon 7th January 2022
· Minimum grant £2,000
· Maximum grant £25,000
· Items to be purchased and claims made by 30th September 2022
· Grant is a fixed contribution to cost of purchasing approved equipment
· Contractors working in the sector as well as farmers, horticulturists and foresters are eligible to apply
· 120 Eligible items including livestock handling and weighing equipment, slurry system equipment and precision farming.
Farming Transformation Fund – Water Management
· Applications for stage one open until 12th January 2022
· Minimum grant £35,000
· Maximum grant £500,000
· 40% grant towards eligible costs
· Open to arable and horticultural businesses
· Funding towards reservoir construction and irrigation equipment.
· Full application to be made by 30th June 2022 if successful at stage one