The Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, has today announced the opening of a £40 million grants scheme for investment in farming technology and equipment.
On 29 July, Lord Gardiner announced a £200 million package of RDPE funding to support growth of rural businesses.
This included a package of £120m under Countryside Productivity for capital grants to increase farmers’ productivity and help them prepare for future challenges. Half of this was for large capital grants and half for small capital grants.
The first two large grants, Improving Forestry Productivity and Water Resource Management were made available from Monday 31 July. The two remaining CP large grants are being launched and full details published on on Monday 30 October. The Countryside Productivity landing page is being updated to include links to the applicant handbooks, application forms and applicant guidance for the two new grants that are:
• Adding value to Agri-food products – grants to fund projects that improve the processing of primary agricultural products (i.e. Annex I products), benefiting the Agri-food supply chain which will in turn improve farm productivity.
• Improving Farm Productivity – grants to fund projects that improve farm productivity through the use of robotic equipment and systems to aid crop and livestock production; increasing the use of renewable energy produced on farm; the use of LED wavelength controlled lighting to aid crop production; more efficient use of livestock slurries and manures, and digestate.
Each theme or type of grant has its own handbook which includes:
• Details of the Countryside Productivity scheme – sets out how the national scheme context, how we manage the grants and deadlines;
• Details of the grants – contains details on who can apply, what the grants are for, how much they are and examples of projects;
• Who can apply – explains what type and size of business can apply for the grants and who can’t apply;
• Preparing an application – sets out the priorities for funding, how we access applications and what we look for;
• Funding and costs – explains how much funding is available, how applicants pay for the project, what the eligible costs are and what isn’t eligible; and
• How to apply – provides an overview of the application forms, what we need to see, how to submit an application and what happens after an application is submitted.
The handbooks will be available as a pdf, on a single landing page which will be easy for potential applicants to find and will hold all the information that the applicant needs. There is also an option on the 03000 helpline number for applicants who need further support and a specific inbox has been set up for applicants to email enquiries to.