New (large) grants launched for farmers and food and drink producers

Featuring Andrew Richards | 31st October, 2017

The 30 October saw the launch of two grant schemes under the umbrella of the ‘Countryside Productivity Scheme’. One of the schemes is aimed at farmers, whilst the other has a broader aim, including food and drink producers.


As previously advised;

  • On 29 July 2017, Lord Gardiner announced a £200 million package of RDPE funding to support growth of rural businesses. This included a package of £120m under Countryside Productivity (CP) for capital grants to increase farmers’ productivity and to help them prepare for future challenges. Half of this was for large capital grants, and half for small capital grants.
  • The first two large grants, ‘Improving Forestry Productivity’ and ‘Water Resource Management’ were made available from 31 July 2017.


The two remaining CP large grants were launched and full details were published on on 30 October. The ‘Countryside Productivity Scheme’ landing page is being updated to include links to the applicant handbooks, application forms and applicant guidance for the two new grants:

Adding value to Agri-food products Improving farm productivity
Grants to fund projects that.. Improve the processing of primary agricultural products (i.e. Annex I products) benefiting the Agri-food supply chain which will in turn improve farm productivity. Improve farm productivity through the use of robotic equipment and systems to aid crop and livestock production; increasing the use of renewable energy produced on farm; the use of LED wavelength controlled lighting to aid crop production; more efficient use of livestock slurries and manures, and digestate.
Who can apply Processors of primary agricultural or horticultural products. This includes food and drink businesses and farmers (including livestock, dairy, arable and horticultural sectors) in rural or urban areas. Farmers (including livestock, dairy, arable and horticultural sectors).
Size of business Any size business can apply, but priority given to micro, small and medium-sized businesses.
Money to spent on
  • Equipment and machinery
  • Constructing or improving buildings associated with all aspects of processing


Buying and installing machinery and equipment.
Minimum and maximum grant


Intervention rate


£35k – No maximum

40% (50% in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly)

(See handbook for grant intervention rates for projects with Non-Annexe 1 end products)

£35k – £1m


Deadline for applications 29 June 2018 3 December 2018

More details

Each theme or type of grant has its own handbook which includes:

  • Details of the ‘Countryside Productivity Scheme’ – it sets out how the national scheme contexts, how we manage the grants and deadlines
  • Details of the grants – contains details on who can apply, what the grants are for, how much they are and examples of projects
  • Who can apply – explains what type and size of business can apply for the grants and who can’t apply
  • Preparing an application – sets out the priorities for funding, how we access applications and what we look for
  • Funding and costs – explains how much funding is available, how applicants pay for the project, what the eligible costs are and what isn’t eligible
  • How to apply – provides an overview of the application forms, what we need to see, how to submit an application and what happens after an application is submitted

We have been advised:

  • The handbooks will be available as a PDF on a single landing page which will be easy for potential applicants to find. The handbooks will hold all the information that the applicant needs.
  • There is also an option on the 0300 helpline number for applicants who need further support and a specific inbox has been set up for applicants to email enquiries to.

If you wish to discuss a potential project with us before approaching the Rural Payments Agency, please contact our team of expert Grant Advisors.

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