RPA offers a wide range of grants and rural payments to farmers, businesses and local authorities. In this blog, and an upcoming series, we will be looking at the grants available in more detail, using case studies to showcase those who have taken advantage of these opportunities, as well as highlighting the work of the RPA Grants Service Team in administering them.
What are the existing grant schemes?
The Farming Investment Fund (FIF) offers funding for equipment, technology, and infrastructure that improves farm productivity and benefits the environment. This fund provides grants to farmers, foresters and growers, including contractors to these sectors, so they can invest in the things they need to improve productivity and enhance the natural environment.
FIF is made up of two grants:
The Farming Equipment and Technology Fund (FETF) provides grants between £1,000 and £25,000 towards the cost of equipment and technology to improve productivity, the environment and animal health and welfare. We have had two rounds of this scheme – Round 1 was for general items and Round 2 was split into two application windows with items relating to Productivity and Slurry and items on Animal Health and Welfare. All are currently closed for applications, but we expect there will be further FETF opportunities launched in 2024 including new items.
The Farming Transformation Fund (FTF) provides grants of £25,000 to £500,000 towards large capital items to help businesses improve productivity, profitability, and environmental sustainability. There are currently five competitive grants available through the FTF:
- Calf Housing for Health and Welfare - Grants between £15,000 and £500,000 to build new or refurbish existing calf housing are available for the beef and dairy sectors. This grant aims to improve the health and welfare of calves up to six months old. The online checker is open until 30 November 2023.
- Slurry infrastructure – The Slurry Infrastructure Grant of between £25,000 and £250,000 is available to pig, beef, and dairy farmers to help replace, build new or expand existing slurry stores to provide six months’ storage. Applicants who were invited to submit a full application for Round 1 have until 28 June 2024 to do this. The online checker for Round 2 launched on 21 November, with Round 2 introducing new pieces of equipment. The online checker closes on 17 January 2024.
- Adding Value – The Adding Value grant is available for growers or producers to add value to eligible agricultural products after they have been harvested or reared. Grants between £25,000 and £300,000 are available. Applicants from Round 1 who were invited to submit a full application must do so by 31 January 2024.
- Water Management – Applicants who were invited to submit a full application in Round 2 have until 31 October 2024 to submit it. This grant is for capital items to improve farm productivity through more efficient use of water for irrigation, and to secure water supplies for crop irrigation.
- Improving Farm Productivity – This grant includes capital items to improve productivity through the use of robotic or autonomous equipment and systems to aid crop and livestock production and the installation of slurry acidification equipment. Any future rounds of this scheme will look to include automated kit, in addition to robotic elements.
What’s coming in the future?
Further rounds of these schemes, and any new schemes under the Farming Transformation Fund, will be announced in 2024.
Please visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/funding-for-farmers regularly for more information as this page sets out every payment on offer, with links to learn more.