Defra has announced a new £60m grant scheme for equipment purchases that will provide new small-scale equipment for farmers across all sectors
The new grants scheme from DEFRA promises to provide support for farmers in need of new equipment. The scheme is open to all farmers, including livestock, dairy, arable and horticultural sectors, and will provide up to 40% of the purchase price of an item, for claims of between £3000 – £12000. Known as The Countryside Productivity Small Grant Scheme, bidding for grants opened on 7th February and must be submitted by midday on the 14th March 2018.
The list of eligible equipment which is available under this small grant funding scheme is extensive and arable farmers can look for support for GPS precision farming equipment and seed drills.
Tim Sedgewick, Associate at H&H Land and Property in Durham says: “This scheme provides an opportunity for farmers to gain funding for a wide variety of equipment. It is likely to be an extremely popular scheme, hence the small claim window. We advise those thinking about purchasing equipment to investigate this grant scheme as soon as possible.”
Tim adds. “The small print in the application process means that everything has to be documented correctly. You must check your Rural Payments record before you apply to make sure the details are up to date. The details on Rural Payments must exactly match the details you give in your application form. If they don’t, the application will be rejected.”
“Due to the 40% rule, the minimum spend on equipment must be more than £7,500 – the remaining 60% coming from your private sources.”
On announcing details of this £60m grant scheme Farm Minister George Eustice said:
“By opening this small grants scheme, we hope more farmers will be able to access this equipment and embark on more innovative and ambitious projects. We want to make sure farmers can become more resilient, competitive and able to capitalise on the growing global interest in quality British produce as we leave the EU.”
Funding for the scheme comes from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development via the Rural Development Programme for England.
The latest grant scheme falls under the wider Countryside Productivity Scheme. It was launched in July 2017 and provides financial assistance for a range of different projects in the farming and forestry sectors.
Larger grants of more than £35,000 are available for projects that make more efficient use of resources and processing products to help create jobs and growth in the rural economy.
Items must not be ordered or bought before confirmation of the application has been approved. All items must be purchased before claims can be submitted. No more than 150 days is allowed between approval of applications and submission of claims.