Warwickshire Rural Hub
Are you taking advantage of farmers’ averaging tax relief?
Farmers’ Averaging works by allowing you to restate profits of either the last two or five years as the average for that time period. This allows you to flatten out the profits over the period and potentially reduce your tax liabilities. You can choose which averaging option to use each year depending on what gives the best tax saving.
To find out more about Farmers’ Averaging please visit the Ellacotts website.
Countryside Stewardship Facilitation Fund opens for applications
The CS facilitation funding is for a person or organisation (facilitator) to help a group of farmers and other land managers work together to:
- improve the natural environment at a landscape rather than single-farm scale
- achieve greater improvements than individual holdings could on their own
The application window is 5 August to 4 October 2019.
For further information on the fund please visit this page.
Countryside Productivity Small Grant Scheme
Round 2 of the Countryside Productivity Small Grant Scheme is now open for applications. The closing date is mid-day on 3 September 2019. The scheme provides funding for farmers to purchase equipment to improve the productivity of their farm in areas such as:
animal health and welfare
resource efficiency, or
Full details, guidance and the online application portal can be viewed here.
Please remember to check your details on the Rural Payments service before you apply for this grant. You must make sure they exactly match with the details in your application form, or your application will be rejected.
Communication with RPA after 1 July
From 1 July 2019 the RPA will be taking further steps to route all communications through their new single point of contact:
Tel: 03000 200 301
Post: Rural Payments Agency (Countryside Stewardship), PO Box 324, Worksop, S95 1DF
This change means that if you contact the RPA through an existing route you will receive an answerphone message or an auto-response to an email. After 31 July the old telephone numbers and email addresses will be deactivated and will no longer be available for use.
When contacting the RPA please include the following information in your communication:scheme/grant type, document type, year, SBI.
WRAP Resource Action Fund
The Resource Action Fund is an £18 million fund, provided by Defra to support resource efficiency projects, with the goal of diverting, reducing, and better managing, waste. The Fund will support key policy outcomes in the areas of food, plastics, textiles, recycling infrastructure and litter. It will do this through a variety of mechanisms including large and small-scale grants, and through expert support in the areas of food and non-household municipal recycling. Large scale and small scale grants are available for a variety of projects. For further information visit the WRAP website.
Support for farmers to tackle air pollution
Did you know that free expert support and confidential advice is available now from local air quality specialists, enabling farmers to choose the best way forward for their farm?
In September 2018, the government launched a new £3 million air quality project to support farmers through the Catchment Sensitive Farming partnership. Since then, specialists have been working with farmers across the country to reduce ammonia emissions to improve their farm business and the environment.
Visit this link to check if your land is in a high priority and to read more about the partnership.
Churchill Fellowships for Rural Living
The Churchill Fellowships are seeking applications to their Rural Living category that explore multidisciplinary approaches for strengthening rural communities, for example to invigorate transport networks, reimagine housing, employment and enterprise, or improve access to education, culture and healthcare. This category is in partnership with The Prince’s Countryside Fund.
A Churchill Fellowship is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to expand your horizons and make a difference. It offers up to two months overseas, researching a topic of your choice – and then a lifetime relationship to help you spread the global insights that you bring back. Everyone can apply, regardless of age, background or qualifications, so long as you are a UK citizen aged 18 or over. The Fellowships particularly welcome applicants who would not find funding elsewhere. The closing date for applications is 17 September 2019. You can find out full information on how to apply on this page.
Loans for Enlightened Agriculture Programme is launched
A £1.34 million programme offering community food and farming businesses a mix of affordable loans and grants to help businesses get investment ready has been launched. The Real Farming Trust has established Loans for Enlightened Agriculture Programme (LEAP) with Power to Change, an independent trust that supports community businesses in England. Interested communities can apply for 5-year unsecured loans between £25,000 and £100,000, and a grant worth 18% of the loan amount. Mentoring support will also be provided to help successful groups develop their business plans. Further information is available 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.
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.
Would you Like to
Donate to the Hub?
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
Alexandra Robinson, Wright Hassall LLP
Bob Slater, Slater Farm Management Services
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.
© 2018 Warwickshire Rural Hub. All rights reserved.