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Warwickshire Rural Hub


North Warwickshire LEADER programme is inviting expressions of interest

The North Warwickshire LEADER programme opened Monday 15 October 2018 to new Expressions of Interest. The call does not have a definite closing date but the advice for applicants is ‘Once there are enough sufficient quality project Expressions of Interest the LAG will close for any new applications.’  There are two priorities:

Forestry Productivity Grants (£2,500 – £75,000) – for small/medium forestry contracting businesses that aim to deliver permanent new supply chains and jobs.

Micro and Small Enterprise Grants (£4,000 – £75,000) – for SMEs with under 50 employees aiming to deliver a project that will have an impact on the local rural economy.  This can include the creation of new jobs, increased turnover, creation of new products or use of new technologies.

For further information please contact the LEADER programme team.

Tel: 01827 719271


The attached flyer shows the area in North Warwickshire which is eligible for the funding.

LEADER generic flyer 2016

Countryside Productivity Small Grants scheme is extended

The government has committed £30 million for further rounds of the popular Countryside Productivity Small Grants scheme (CPSGS), which helps farmers buy the equipment they need to boost productivity and increase yields.  This will include equipment specific to cattle, sheep and pig farmers, as well as precision farming and resource management equipment for arable farmers. The first round of funding for small grants was launched in February 2018.
The next application window will open in early 2019, with over £30 million available for future funding rounds for farmers.  For further information please visit this page.

Grants for free-range egg producers

Grants up to a maximum £1,000 are on offer for people aged under 40 working within the free range egg industry.  The British Free Range Egg Producers Association is offering the grants through its Next Generation Programme.  The programme will support study trips, travel, training courses, conference registration fees and research projects.  Applicants must either hold a BFREPA membership or work in a business which is a member of the organisation.

Financial Discipline Mechanism repayments

A large proportion of farmers claiming BPS are due to receive Financial Discipline Mechanism (FDM) refunds from late September. The monies originate from reductions taken from the 2016 BPS payments.  These monies need to be issued where possible by 15 October.  RPA will communicate the FDM reimbursement payment by sending a remittance advice after the payment has been issued.

Derogation to increase fodder availability

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) has announced a derogation to relax some of the Ecological Focus Area (EFA) rules to increase the availability of fodder. This specifically applies to EFA cover crops only. The derogation will come into force by 30 September.  This derogation is in addition to the Hot and dry weather conditions in England guidance published on 31 July 2018. Full details are available here.

Defra announces help for drought-hit farmers in Stewardship schemes

Defra has announced 40 temporary prescription adjustments (TPA) to help drought-hit farmers in stewardship schemes provide extra fodder, bedding or grazing for their stock.  The changes apply to certain prescriptions in Countryside Stewardship and Environmental Stewardship schemes.  Full details are available on the Government website.

Bursaries to help non-farming students into farming

A student bursary worth £27,000 is on offer to help bring fresh talent from outside the industry into the agricultural sector.  The John Innes Foundation (JIF) offers a bursary to one undergraduate each year and is aimed at candidates who are not from a farming background and also from families that are financially disadvantaged.  The closing date for applications is 31 October 2018.  For full information please visit this link.

Reducing ammonia emissions from agriculture

A new £3 million programme to help farmers reduce ammonia emissions from agriculture was launched on 18 September. Find out more about the Catchment Sensitive Farming visit this link.

Call 10 Worcestershire LEADER Programme now open

Call 10 of the Worcestershire LEADER Programme is now open.  Grant funding is potentially available for projects relating to farm productivity, micro & small enterprises, farm diversification, tourism, rural services & culture and heritage projects.
contact Guy on 07971 917984

Removal of application window for Woodland Creation Grant

You can now apply for Countryside Stewardship (CS) woodland creation capital grant year round in our new rolling window which opens for applications on Monday 10 September 2018.  Forestry Commission is keen to make improvements to the scheme where we can and hope that the removal of the 6 week application window and the flexibility it provides will help land managers when making their applications.

Future for agri-environment schemes post Brexit

The Government has just released the first tranche of technical ‘no Brexit deal’ notices. The announcement covers rural development, including agri-environment schemes. It gives required certainty that existing agri-environment agreements will be fully funded until the end of the agreement; and, new Countryside Stewardship agreements can be entered in to during 2019 and 2020. These will be fully funded until the end of the agreement.

Cash flow support for new sheep farming entrants

New entrants to the sheep farming industry can now benefit from a scheme to provide cash flow support.  British Wool has introduced an initiative that will provide eligible producers with upfront payments worth 100% of their annual clip value for the first two years of the scheme. Thereafter, producers will move towards standard payments over a six year period before they align with the standard payment scheme.  Successful applicants will also receive a priority wool intake and grading service through British Wool’s nationwide depot network.  Eligible producers should have kept sheep for fewer than five years and must not have previously been registered with British Wool.

Telephone: 01274 688666
Website: Open Website

£90 million of new funding to access innovative new technology

It is predicted that 60 percent more food will be needed worldwide by 2050 to feed the expanding global population. To meet this demand, government has announced £90 million of new funding to help businesses, researchers and industry to transform food production.
Further information can be gained on the website below.

Contact: None
Telephone: None
Email Address: None
Website: Open Website

Forestry Innovation Fund is launched

A new part of the Forestry Innovation Fund is available from Monday 15 January 2018. The aim is to encourage and broaden innovation in forestry in England, from woodland planning to manufacture and use of wood products; it will support forestry related research and development projects.
Projects should target opportunities for significant improvement in productivity and in cutting-edge innovation with substantial potential for encouraging growth in the forestry sector in England.
Up to six projects will be supported to a maximum grant value of £50,000 each. For more details of the application process access the link below.

Website: Open Website

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.

Website: Open Website

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.

Website: Open Website

Woodland Carbon Fund update

The Woodland Carbon Fund, designed to provide capital funding for the creation of new, productive woodland has been updated to include both a second stage payment and funding for forest roads and tracks. This sits alongside the recent improvements made to the Fund of a reduction in the minimum threshold from 30ha down to 10ha and the ability to retain BPS payments (subject to eligibility criteria).

Countryside Productivity Scheme

The RDPE Countryside Productivity Scheme provides funding for projects in England which improve productivity in the farming and forestry sectors and help create jobs and growth in the rural economy. It is administered by the Rural Payments Agency. Under the RDPE Countryside Productivity Scheme, there are grants for: Water resource management and reservoirs Improving forestry productivity.

Website: Open Website

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.

Contact: None
Telephone: None
Email Address: None
Website: Open Website

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.

Website: Open Website

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.

Telephone: 07850 204799

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.

Website: Open Website

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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.

Contact Us

The Warwickshire Rural Hub CIC
c/o Pleasance Farm


Registration No: 7026157

Registered office: 23 West Bar Street, Banbury, OX16 9SA

Hub Chairman

Henry Lucas

Rural Hub Co-Ordinator

Jane Hampson

Tel: 07780 159291

Warwickshire Rural Hub CIC Directors

Henry Lucas (Hub Chairman)
Graham Collier (Hub Deputy Chairman)
Paul Rice
Carrie Robbins
Alexandra Robinson
James Walton


Hub Steering Group Members

Luke Ryder, NFU
Mark Dickin, Ellacotts Accountants
Susan Lewis, 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
John 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.

© 2018 Warwickshire Rural Hub. All rights reserved.