Farmers - prepare for the launch of the Farming Investment Fund - PKF Francis Clark
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Farmers – prepare for the launch of the Farming Investment Fund

The Farming Investment Fund has been referred to by Defra for a number of months now but as we move towards a launch date of October (announced earlier this month) I thought it opportune to set out what we already know.

The Farming Investment Fund has two elements, both of which have been modelled on elements of the Countryside Productivity Scheme:

  • Farming Equipment and Technology Fund
  • Farming Transformation Fund

Details

I set out below headlines for the two elements of the Farming Investment Fund. Most of the information has been taken from Defra’s blogs including “The Farming Investment Fund: an overview

I will look to update when details are confirmed.

Farming Equipment and Technology Fund (FETF) Farming Transformation Fund (FTF)
Overview FETF will provide smaller grants to improve business performance. FTF will support larger or more complicated investments.
More details Farmers can apply for a grant to buy items from a set list of equipment, technology and small infrastructure investments.

Contractors will be eligible to apply for FETF as well as farmers, foresters and horticulturalists and the list includes items to reflect this change.

The kinds of things grants might be awarded for could include:

  • On-farm water storage infrastructure, including reservoirs
  • Precision agriculture equipment (for example, low emission and variable-rate nutrient or pesticide application)
  • Robotic or automated technology
  • Equipment and technology for storing, sorting, or processing products
Based on Countryside Productivity Small Grant scheme Countryside Productivity Large Grant scheme
Application process You will be able to make an application online quickly and simply. The approval process will be straightforward, with a clear grant value assigned to each item. If an application is successful, the applicant will buy the item and then will be able to claim the reimbursement using their receipt. One piece I read on the fund said it was:

  • Likely to involve a two-stage application process, including an initial Expressions of Interest, where Defra will assess eligibility to guide applicants ahead of them being asked to submit a full application.
  • At the second stage, applications will be scored against selection criteria before a decision on whether to award grant funding is made.
  • What Defra have said is “For these grants we are designing an online eligibility checker to improve the application process”

Other funding – aimed at R&D

Defra is launching another scheme entirely to support innovation, research and development in farming and growing. This innovation R&D programme, Farming Innovation Programme, will have three funds within it – one of these is the Industry-led R&D Partnerships fund.

In October 2021, Defra will launch the first competitions of this new Industry-led R&D Partnerships fund.

The Industry-led R&D Partnerships fund will be delivered in partnership with UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). I will share more information on this fund in due course. For those interested in reading on this now – please see link to Defra blog.

PKF Francis Clark

I hope many of you have already seen and read our Farming Matters newsletter – and this blog follows on nicely from one article in particular – “Future Funding for Farming”.

If you have any questions please contact your usual PKF Francis Clark contact or contact a member of the rural business team.

As I have indicated above, I will look to update this grant pre-launch with more confirmed details and links to application process and eligibility criteria etc.  In the interim if you are considering a capital investment, I would keep an eye on the Defra blog and/or speak to your PKF Francis Clark contact.

FEATURING: Brian Harvey
As head of PKF Francis Clark’s agricultural sector group, Brian manages a dedicated team of agricultural accountants and tax advisers. He hails from a Cornish… read more
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