Warwickshire Rural Hub
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.
Free workshop on HS2 Woodland Fund
The Forestry Commission is running a free workshop on the HS2 Woodland Fund and Woodland Condition Assessments. The workshop will be held on Monday 17 June 2019 in and around Oakley Wood near Leamington Spa, from 10.00 am until 15.00 pm. They will cover scheme rules and examples of previous successful projects indoors before lunch, then we’ll head outside to practice doing a Woodland Condition Assessment in PAWS woodland.
Book your place by emailing email@example.com. Spaces are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis. Tea and coffee will be provided, but attendees will need to bring their own packed lunches.
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.
Countryside Stewardship one to one advice sessions
If you are thinking of applying for Countryside Stewardship Mid Tier this year you may be interested in attending a one to one advice session where the options available to you under a Countryside Stewardship Mid Tier scheme can be discussed and assistance offered with the application process, should you decide to apply.
Please call Jennifer Davies on 01785 710548 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to book one of these free sessions in your local area (dates, locations and times to be confirmed). Please provide your name, address, contact number, email and farm CPH or SBI number when booking.
Just a reminder, if you have not yet ordered your pack you will need to order one from the RPA by the 31st May and the Mid Tier application window closes on 31st July.
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.
New wayleave payments from 1 April
New advisory rates for occupiers under electric wayleave payments has been agreed for arable farmland (includes grass leys five years or less). Utility companies will have started making these payments from 1 April 2019. Further information is available on the Energy Network Association website.
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.
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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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
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.
© 2018 Warwickshire Rural Hub. All rights reserved.