Warwickshire Rural Hub
Increase to annual investment allowance
The Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) has increased from £200,000 to £1,000,000 for a limited time, until 31 December 2020. If you’re thinking of investing in plant and machinery you will receive tax relief. For further information please read this briefing note from our business supporter, Ellacotts.
RPA bridging payments
RPA has confirmed that farmers will start receiving bridging payments from 12 April. These payments will cover BPS 2018 claims and CS 2018 advance payments. Further information can be viewed here.
Earn up to £8 per hectare for improving water quality
Farm to Tap is a Severn Trent scheme that focuses on managing pesticides and the other impacts of diffuse water pollution that comes from farms, and other land users. You might know this scheme as Farmers as Producers of Clean Water. Farmers are being urged to come together to help keep Metaldehyde out of drinking water and there are payments available for those joining the scheme. The deadline is 1 September 2019. To check if you are eligible and to register your interest please visit this page.
£30,000 rural innovation programme is launched
Investment managers Quilter Cheviot has launched a £30,000 rural innovation programme to find individuals or organisations with exciting, innovative ideas that will inspire others and make real impact and positive change to rural communities. The funding will be awarded to an individual or organisation whose idea, product or organisation can show that it will benefit rural communities and ensure they keep performing for generations. The closing date for an application is 14 June and full details of the programme can be viewed on this website.
Woodland payments claim date
Completed annual claim forms for the Farm Woodland Premium Scheme and Farm Woodland Payment must be received by the Forestry Commission no later than 15 May 2019 in order to avoid a late claim penalty being applied to the claim. Claims returned after 9 June 2019 will not receive a payment this year. Payments are normally made from the beginning of December.
Claim forms were posted via Recorded Delivery on 15 March.
HS2 Woodland Fund
The HS2 Woodland Fund will open for applications on 11 March. The fund is open to private landowners and local authorities within 25 miles of the HS2 phase one route from London to the West Midlands. The Forestry Commission has £4 million of funding to commit to projects over the next four years. The grant funds the creation of new native woodland between 1 and 25 hectares and the removal of exotic species and restoration of native tree species on Plantations on Ancient Woodland Sites. Further information and forms can be found on the HS2 Woodland Fund webpage.
NatWest approves support for business growth
NatWest has approved £1.9 billion of growth funding in a pledge to support UK businesses. The figure has been committed to businesses looking to grow and to help businesses navigate the current uncertain climate. The ongoing uncertainty of the Brexit process means that while preparation is difficult, NatWest believes companies looking to optimise supply chain and trade financing, and those that will need access to stable term financing will be best placed to take advantage of new opportunities.
Bursary for postgraduate students
The NFU Mutual Centenary Award provides annual bursaries to pay up to 75% of course fees for selected Masters or PhD students. It is open to individuals who are expected to gain a 2:1 or above in agriculture or a related degree and have been provisionally accepted on a postgraduate course in agriculture in the UK, in autumn 2019. The NFU Mutual Charitable Trust has identified three topic areas of interest for eligible students:
- Sustainable agriculture and climate change
- International agricultural development
- The application of science and innovative technology to the agricultural industry
The closing date for applications is 30 April. Please request an application form by emailing email@example.com
Countryside Stewardship window opens
You will need to request your application pack by 31 March 2019 from Defra Rural Services Helpline at the RPA on firstname.lastname@example.org Completed applications must be returned by 3 May 2019.
Grants for woodland creation, woodland tree health and woodland management plans remain open for applications all year. All Countryside Stewardship agreements will be funded for their full lifetime so are a viable income stream for land managers also producing private goods for the market, such as food or timber, whether there’s a deal with the EU or not.
Funding for business start-ups in Worcestershire
The Enterprising Worcestershire programme is funded by Worcestershire County Council, the District Councils and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The Programme offers a variety of support to enable start-up and early stage enterprises to develop and prosper. From Start-up workshops to help you get your business off the ground to grants and early stage support that will help your business grow. For further information please click here.
Coventry and Warwickshire Green Business Programme
Do you want to save money on your energy bills and the make the most of low carbon opportunities? The Green Business programme can help you identify energy savings and support the development of new low carbon products and technologies. For further information visit this page.
Coventry and Warwickshire Innovation Programme
Supporting the development of new innovative products and technologies for SMEs, the programme provides a range of assistance including one-to-one support, networking and access to grants of up to £100,000. Visit this page for further information.
Coventry and Warwickshire Business Support Programme
A free service comprising one-to-one or group support targeted at new businesses, or established businesses with under 250 employees who want to grow. Visit this page for further information.
Gigabit Voucher Scheme for small and medium sized businesses
If you are a small or medium-sized business, you may be able to get a grant of up to £3,000 to upgrade your business broadband to a Gigabit capable connection. Details of approved suppliers can be found at the link below.
HS2 Woodland Fund
The HS2 Woodland Fund provides grant payments for restoring plantations on ancient woodland sites (PAWS) and/or creating new native woodland. Funding is available for a range of capital items, paying 100% of the associated standard cost, with a maintenance payment also available for woodland creation. £1 million of funding is due to open for applications in January 2018 and will close in April 2020, subject to remaining budget availability. There are no application windows.
Further information is available on the website below.
Change to Woodland Creation threshold
The threshold for applications to the Woodland Creation Planning Grant has been lowered to 10 hectares. At least one woodland block within an application must be of 10 ha or more in size, with additional blocks being at least 5 ha in size. This means that if your application is less than 15 ha in total, it must be formed of a single woodland block. Visit the website below for more information.
Updates to digital maps
The RPA is currently updating digital maps and will use this latest mapping data when calculating BPS 2017 payments. Claimants of Environmental / Countryside Stewardship and Forestry Legacy Schemes may need to review the changes to make sure their applications and/ or agreements are correct.
Natural England refreshes its livestock recording templates
Natural England has updated the templates for recording livestock to make them more user friendly. Therefore the webpage has been refreshed. Specific livestock record keeping applies to CS and ELS/HLS agreements that started on or after 1 January 2013.
CFE advises voluntary maintenance of expiring environmental schemes
The Campaign for the Farmed Environment is encouraging farmers who are in Environmental Stewardship schemes to voluntarily maintain conservation work when the scheme has expired. Voluntary management may assist such farmers to benefit from any future schemes, post Brexit, and returning such land to production will undo the investment of time and money already made, says CFE.
Fully funded training to invest in your workforce
Would you like the opportunity improve your staff productivity, increase staff morale and receive support from professionals who will help you grow your business?
Inspire 2 Independence is working in partnership with Serco on the delivery of Skills Support for the Workforce across Coventry & Warwickshire. The funding is available to local businesses within Coventry & Warwickshire with 100% funding of a range of units and qualifications aimed at up-skilling your workforce. No financial contribution is required from your business to access this training opportunity, all that is required is a commitment to the development of your staff.
For further information please contact your i2i representative today.
New form to raise BPS issues
The RPA has developed a new way to deal with cases of unreported BPS 2015 / 2016 payment issues, which includes an enquiry form for farmers to complete and send to the RPA.
For further information and to download a copy of the form please use the link below.
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A donation to the Hub of any amount is always gratefully received. However, it is only donations of over £100 that can be acknowledged on the Hub website as a Champion. A donation can be given to the Hub by cheque, bank payment, standing order or by the Paypal Link Below.
The Warwickshire Rural Hub CIC
c/o Pleasance Farm
Registration No: 7026157
Registered office: 23 West Bar Street, Banbury, OX16 9SA
Rural Hub Co-ordinator
Tel: 07780 159291
Warwickshire Rural Hub CIC Directors
Henry Lucas (Hub Chairman)
Graham Collier (Hub Deputy Chairman)
Hub Steering Group Members
Luke Ryder, NFU
Mark Dickin, Ellacotts Accountants
Susan Schlee, S2M Marketing
Tom Newbery, Highfield Farm
Mark Meadows, Tithe Farm
Alexandra Robinson, Wright Hassall LLP
Bob Slater, Slater Farm Management Services
Chris Tallis, Tallis Amos Group
Jef Tuyn, Agricultural Consultant
Matt Willmott, King's Seeds
Jon Slee, Abbey Farm
The Warwickshire Rural Hub accepts no liability for any direct, indirect or consequential loss arising from any action taken in reliance on the information contained on this website.
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