Grants and Subsidies can form an essential income stream for farms and Estate, here is a summary of what is on offer.
Countryside Stewardship Woodland Creation Grant
Applicants can now apply for the Countryside Stewardship Woodland Creation Grant. This scheme is run jointly by the Forestry Commission and Natural England Technical Services and is open to all qualifying land managers.
If successful, applicants will receive a capital grant of up to £6,800 per hectare and may be eligible for annual maintenance payments for 10 years. The planting must be completed within two years.
Hedgerow and Boundary Grants
The hedgerows and boundaries grant is a standalone capital grant under Countryside Stewardship. Farmers and other land managers can apply for this grant to help provide environmental and landscape benefits on their land.
The total budget will be increased to £10 million with the maximum grant individuals can apply for rising to £10,000 up from £5,000.
The next application round will open on 15th January 2018, when the manuals will be published, and close 30 April 2018.
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 (RPA). Under the RDPE Countryside Productivity Scheme, there are grants for:
- Water resource management and reservoirs
- Improving forestry productivity
- Adding value to Agri-food
- Improving farm productivity
The grants are funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). The government has guaranteed funding for RDPE Countryside Productivity Scheme grants if these are agreed and signed before the UK’s departure from the EU, even if the grant agreements continue after we have left the EU. This is subject to projects meeting the following conditions when the application is assessed:
- They are good value for money
- They are in line with domestic strategic priorities
RDPE Growth Programme.
You could be eligible for a Growth Programme grant if your business is carrying out a project to create jobs or bring more money into the rural economy.
The grants are normally for a minimum of £35,000 though will depend on the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). All applications are assessed to ensure they fit the funding priorities and provide best value for money.
There are 3 types of grant:
- Business development
- Food processing
- Rural tourism infrastructure
Rural Development Programme for England: LEADER funding
A total of £138 million is available in the England from between 2015 and 2020 which is available to local businesses, communities, farmers, foresters and land managers
You can apply to your Local Action Group (LAG) for funding for projects that create jobs, help your business to grow, and benefit the rural economy, under the LEADER scheme.
A LAG is made up of people from the local community and the local public and private sector. Each LAG decides which projects they will fund in their area. This depends on their priorities but all projects must support one or more of the 6 LEADER priorities. These are to:
- Support micro and small businesses and farm diversification
- Boost rural tourism
- Increase farm productivity
- Increase forestry productivity
- Provide rural services
- Provide cultural and heritage activities
Contacting your local action group:
Basic Payment Scheme (BPS)
The Basic Payment Scheme is the biggest of the European Union’s rural grants and payments to help the farming industry. Farmers apply once a year - normally in May with payments beginning in December.
Farmers with at least 5 hectares of agricultural land and 5 ‘entitlements’ can apply. With extra incentives if you’re under 40 and for new entrants to farming. There are rules about what you can and can’t do with your land. Claimants are required under this scheme to farm in accordance with a range of regulations. For example, if you’re an arable farmer you might need to grow 3 different crops and use 5% of your land for environmental purposes.
Countryside Stewardship provides financial incentives for land managers to look after their environment through activities such as:
- Conserving and restoring wildlife habitats
- Flood risk management
- Woodland creation and management
- Reducing widespread water pollution from agriculture
- Keeping the character of the countryside
- Preserving features important to the history of the rural landscape
- Encouraging educational access
The scheme is:
- Open to all eligible farmers, woodland owners, foresters and other land managers
- Suitable for many types of land use (for example conventional and organic farmland, coastal areas, uplands and woodlands)
- Scored against local priority targets to maximise environmental benefit
There are 3 main elements to the scheme:
Contact Georgina Bush or Jonathan Malings for advice or help in submitting claims 01285 883 740.