The Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, George Eustice yesterday announced the launch of the Countryside Productivity Small Grant (CPSG) at the Dairy Tech event held at Stoneleigh, and on the face of it, I believe that this is a scheme that the majority of farmers could take advantage of.
Whilst the total fund announced was £60m, the initial offer is for £15 million of small grants of between £3,000 and £12,000 for a range of equipment and technology to be used on farms.
Grants are available for specific items as listed in Annex three of the handbook, and these items have been identified as helping achieve improvements in either:
- Animal welfare
- Resource efficiency
- Nutrient management
Grants can cover up to 40% of the eligible costs in your application and this is increased to 50% for farmers in Cornwall or the Isles of Scilly, the remainder of the funds having to be funded privately.
The list of items of qualifying equipment runs to 11 pages and is across various sectors of the industry, but seems to include many items of equipment that you would expect to see on farms such as cattle crush, heat detective systems, troughs, GPS equipment, slurry scraper systems and seed drills, so if nothing else it would seem sensible to have a quick look at the list to see if there is anything on it that you are considering buying or would be of benefit to your business.
With applications due in by 14 March 2018, there is at present only a narrow window of opportunity for applications to be made.
However, the scheme is different to other parts of the Countryside Productivity Scheme as it uses an online application process and is targeted at supporting investment for specific pieces of agricultural equipment.
The RPA have announced that they have listened to feedback and have simplified the application process, noting that applying online takes just a few minutes!
We understand that applications will be scored after the closing date and that the RPA expects to be able to let applicants know soon afterwards whether they have been successful.
Full details are being made available here, with this having further links to the 49 page Small Grant Handbook and a portal to what is described as a very simple online application form.
The intention is that there will be further rounds of grants later in the year.
Talk to our Grant Advisory team now about your business may be able to get assistance.