The deadline for farmers to apply for the new Countryside Productivity Small Grant Scheme is fast approaching – but there’s still plenty of money available.
The government-funded scheme is seen as a way for farmers to buy the equipment they need to improve and grow their farms.
Farmers can receive grants for purchases which will help to either improve technical efficiency, animal health and welfare, resource efficiency, or nutrient management.
Any grant applied for covers 40 percent of the cost of purchase – or 50 percent in Cornwall or the Isles of Scilly.
Farmers can apply for grants worth between £3,000 and £12,000.
The deadline for applications is at midday on Tuesday 3 September – and there is still plenty of time to apply, explains Stephen Buckingham of property consultancy Fisher German.
And although this scheme was open to farmers before, it was significantly undersubscribed, he says.
“This means there is a much larger pot of money this time around, so farmers will have a good chance of succeeding in their applications as the money needs to be given out.
“And farmers who successfully applied in the first round of applications can apply again this time – but the total value of the applications must not exceed £12,000,” he said.
Seven types of equipment can be applied for: cattle equipment, sheep equipment, pig equipment, general livestock equipment, precision farming equipment, resource management equipment, and other general equipment.
Once an application has been made and the deadline has passed, the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) will contact farmers detailing whether they have been successful.
If so, they can purchase the equipment they applied for and can then claim the money back afterwards.
Mr Buckingham: “However, it is worth noting that farmers only have 150 days from their application being accepted to order, receive and pay for their equipment before their claim becomes invalid.
“Because of this time-limit, it is worth checking with suppliers how long delivery of equipment takes to avoid being caught out.
“It is also crucially important that any items are purchased after the agreement is made, otherwise farmers will be unable to claim the money back.”
He added: “The RPA will need copies of individual invoices for the equipment along with bank statements proving the purchases were made.”