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.
Stephen Buckingham of leading property consultancy Fisher German explains what farmers need to do to receive money for new equipment.
“The government-funded Countryside Productivity Small Grant Scheme is a great way for farmers to buy the equipment they need to improve and grow their farms, no matter what type of farm they run.
“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 per cent of the cost of purchase – or 50 per cent 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 – so there is still plenty of time to apply. Although this scheme was open to farmers before, it was significantly undersubscribed.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“The RPA will need copies of individual invoices for the equipment along with bank statements proving the purchases were made.”
Anyone wishing to apply for a grant should visit cpsmall.org.uk, and a full list of items that can be applied for can be found at gov.uk/guidance/countryside-productivity-scheme.