Rural Economy Grant launched for large farm projects over £62,500Thursday 01 March 2012
The Rural Economy Grant (REG) provides grants to enable a significant ‘game-changing', transformational performance in farm, forestry, tourism, agri-food businesses and micro businesses in rural areas in England.
Guidance given to farmers is that the grant is for large, innovative projects that look to improve animal health and welfare, nutrient management or water resource management. The minimum spend is £62,500 for a grant of £25,000 (at a rate of 40%).
In the guidance (available below from the RDPE Network website), it gives examples for animal health as being all encompassing, whole-farm solutions to inproving significant health issues, by addressing young calf housing, dairy herd cubicle buildings, dairy herd straw yards and cattle handling facilities. However some of these items are at a reduced rate of 20% grant (which would call for at least a total spend of £125,000).
It also looks at the whole picture for nutrient management and water resource solutions; storage, handling and application but will not fund standard practice equipment. Slurry separators and slurry injection kit is mentioned as eligible but there is a long list of standard equipment that is not. Water resource management looks at such projects as constructing irrigation reservoirs; improving irrigation networks; installing effiicient water harvesting, recycling and treatment equipment. It won't fund boreholes.
The £60 million REG has been established in response to the findings of Defra's Rural Economy Growth Review (launched in November 2011), which through consultation and an in-depth analysis of a broad range of research, identified large grants (of £25,000 up to circa £1 million) are needed in key business sectors to unlock significant rural economic growth potential.
The closing date for Outline Applications for round one of the REG is 30th April 2012 at 5pm
Small Grants Fund
The smaller grant fund for grants ranging from £2,500 to £25,000 (at 40%), called The Farming and Forestry Improvement Scheme (FFIS) is accessable through the Northwest Livestock Programme's animal health, nutrient management and resource efficiency plans. The first round closed in January but a second round will open on May 22nd 2012 for small scale on-farm improvements.
For further guidance contact your local Defra RDPE Delivery Team:
Tel: 01768 215805
RDPE Delivery Team NW
c/o Environment Agency