The Countryside Productivity Small Grant Scheme is an important and often over looked source of funding under the Rural Development Plan for England (RDPE).
It is run by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) and its aim is to support farmers in achieving better animal welfare, resource efficiency and nutrient management. Grants can cover up to 40% of the cost of equipment needed to boost productivity and increase yields, with a minimum claim of £3,000 available and a maximum of £12,000. DEFRA has announced that £30 million will be available to fund the scheme in 2019.
The RPA provides a list of equipment which may qualify for funding. The list includes anything from cattle feeders to technical equipment used in precision farming. The most recent inclusion for 2019 being a nitrogen measuring device for calculating fertiliser requirements for crops.
Grants can be applied for online by any farmers registered with the RPA, and in possession of a valid Single Business Identifier (SBI) and Customer Reference Number (CRN).
Once the online application has been submitted and approved by the RPA, the applicant has 150 days to order and receive the equipment, make payment and submit a claim form to the RPA.
Although products cannot be ordered before an application has been approved by the RPA, some equipment can take a long time to be delivered. Therefore, it is worth getting a feel for timescales and the ordering process with different suppliers, before proceeding with the grant application, to ensure there is enough time to complete the process and make your claim. We would therefore advise those who are interested in applying for the grant to do their homework sooner rather than later.
The application window has not yet opened for 2019. More information will be published early this year outlining all of the equipment that is to be available under the grant, and the timescales for applications.
For more information on the Countryside Productivity Small Grant Scheme, or if you are interested in hearing about other grants that may be available to you, please contact Hennie Hargreaves in the Rural Team on 01285 883751 or firstname.lastname@example.org