Associate, Farm Business Consultant
The government has announced the next phase of the rollout of the Countryside Productivity Scheme (CPS), so it can offer grants to farmers in England looking to invest in new technology to improve productivity or buy equipment that will help add value to milk, meat and fruit.
The CPS falls under the umbrella of the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE).
The latest announcement means there are now four strands to the CPS scheme which are:
- Improving forestry production (announced in July 2017)
- Water resource management (announced in July 2017)
- Adding value to agri-foods (announced in October 2017)
- Improving farm productivity (announced in October 2017)
The two new parts of the scheme – adding value to agri-foods and improving farm productivity – offer grants of up to 40% for eligible projects.
However, the minimum value of any grant is £35,000, which means a minimum project spend of £87,500.
The maximum grant per project will normally be £1,000,000.
The application deadline for the ‘improving farm productivity’ strand of the scheme is 3 December 2018.
For the ‘adding value to agri-foods’ strand, an Expression of Interest (EOI) will need to be submitted before 29 June 2018 and then applicants will be requested to move on to a full application if their EOI passes screening.
The application deadlines for water resource management and improving forestry productivity are 3 April 2018.
Examples of the type of projects that are eligible for funding under the improving productivity programme are:
- the use of robotic equipment and systems to aid crop and livestock production
- increasing the use of renewable energy produced on farm by improving energy storage and distribution
- the use of LED wavelength-controlled lighting to aid crop production
- more efficient use of livestock slurries and manures, and digestate
The application process involves explaining what would be involved in a project and what benefits it will bring to a business.
Applicants are also required to supply information such as a breakdown of project costs, cashflow forecasts and three quotes for the equipment that the grant will help to fund.
If you would like help in putting any Countryside Productivity Application, please get in touch with your local office