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Tue 9 July 2019
After much anticipation, the second round of the popular Countryside Productivity Small Grant scheme has reopened today. However, with the closing date for online applications less than 56 days away, closing midday on Tuesday 3rd September 2019, farmers must act quickly.
Beth Hanson, rural professional at McCartneys, explains that the grant scheme is open to the livestock, dairy, arable and horticultural sectors.
“The grant provides 40 percent of funding towards over 85 different pieces of agricultural equipment, including livestock fixed and mobile handling systems, cattle crushes, calf milk feeders, cameras for monitoring livestock, electronic weigh scales, direct drills, precision farming equipment, grain stirrers and fruit ripeness spectrometers. “
The 40 percent grant is for a minimum grant of £3,000 (i.e. minimum £7,500 spend) up to a maximum grant of £12,000 (£30,000 spend).”
The 2018 round of funding was hugely popular, with farmers claiming a total of £15m worth of funding to help with purchases of agricultural equipment.
“We are expecting a similar level of uptake from farmers in England this year,” says Beth. “However the tight application window being over the summer months and harvest period, may prove challenging,” she adds. “Farmers should act now to ensure they meet the deadline and don’t miss out”.This second application window has seen some key changes namely:
1) Businesses can apply again this application round
Applicants who had Round 1 funding can also submit a new application to receive funding in Round 2, providing the total grant value of both applications must not be more than £12,000. If a business withdrew their Round 1 application or claim, or their application or claim was rejected, they are also eligible to apply under Round 2.
2) 26 new additional items
Round 2 is benefitting from an extra 26 eligible items including; sheep conveyors, cameras for monitoring livestock, grassland sward lifters, cover crop rollers, fruit ripeness spectrometers, mobile vertical frost fans for vineyards and horticulture, grain stirrers, thermal image cameras and portable ammonia analysers.
“Farmers should embrace the available funding as they could really help drive improvements in animal health and welfare, resource efficiency or nutrient management. All of these areas are likely to be fundamental post Brexit, taking steps now will pay dividends.”
When applying for the grant, Beth says there are a couple of key areas to be aware of.
“Each item has a minimum specification and has been allocated a standard cost which the grant will pay 40 percent towards. Farmers can purchase items which exceed the specification but will only receive a grant on the standard cost. The standard cost for each item is the actual fixed price the grant will pay towards. For example, if the standard cost is £7,500, even if the actual amount you pay is only £7,000, you will still receive 40% of £7,500. It is important to note that all items which farmers apply for, must be purchased.“Grant funding agreements are anticipated to be offered from late September, requiring farmers to have purchased all of the equipment applied for by the end of February 2020. Items purchased with grant funding must also be kept in good repair and used for the same purpose as set out in the original application for five years.”
The application is online only and must be submitted by midday on Tuesday 3rd September 2019.
If you would like further information or help with an application, please contact Beth Hanson on 01544 230316 or your local McCartneys Rural Office.