Large Grants Funding Announced

6th November 2017

Second Phase of Countryside Productivity Scheme makes £40 million available to farmers

It has been announced by Defra Secretary Michael Gove that £40 million is now available to farmers in England who wish to improve their productivity by investing in new technology.  This constitutes the second phase of the Countryside Productivity Scheme, part of the Rural Development Programme for England, following the implementation of phase 1 in July of this year.

We welcome this move and are anxious that farmers in the north do not miss out on the opportunity of this Large Grants Funding. Applications are being encouraged from a variety of technological ideas and projects, in order for productivity of the land to become more efficient and effective. The total minimum spend is £87,500 before the grant is received and applicants have up to 40% of the eligible costs of their project covered by the grant.  This means a minimum grant award of £35,000.

Applications are invited from livestock, dairy, arable and horticultural farmers willing to invest in new technology.  Examples of the use of such technology would be:

  • Robotic equipment to save time and streamline tasks such as weeding, milking, slurry handling or harvesting.
  • Heat distribution systems set up to utilise renewable heat in outbuildings.
  • LED lighting to aid crops and control pest.

Other food processors are also invited to apply for this funding to improve the volume and processing methods involved in the production of milk, meat and fruit.

The money means farmers in England are now able to apply for grant support to improve farm productivity through a diverse range of investments.

Giving further background to this funding Tim Sedgewick, Chartered Surveyor with H&H Land and Property said: “This funding is there to support any farmer, farm business or food processor looking to invest in technology which will help them to increase output and improve productivity. The Farming industry is becoming increasingly dependent upon technology at all levels and therefore it is important that businesses identify opportunities to help ensure long term sustainability.”

All grant applications under the improving productivity part of the scheme must be submitted electronically by 3 December 2018. Expressions of interest for the adding value to agri-food programme must be in by 29 June 2018.

Tim concludes: “Applications for grant funded schemes such as the Countryside Productivity Scheme   take considerable time and effort in terms of planning, so my advice for anyone who is considering applying is to use the winter evenings to work on your submission.”

For more information on the Countryside Productivity Large Grant, please contact Tim  at our Durham office on 0191 3708530 or David at our Carlisle office on 01228 406260 or Mark at our Kendal office on 01539 721375