DEFRA have announced the start of its Farming Investment Fund, with a £27million investment pot for productivity boosting equipment for farmers, foresters and growers from England.
The investment fund opened for grant applications from 16 November and is aimed at helping producers and foresters to buy new equipment and infrastructure that will not only help farms to become more efficient, but also to do so in an environmentally friendly way. For the first time, the grant is also available to specialist agricultural contractors as well.
Tom Arthey, director of Arthey Associates, explains: “the grant fund is heavily focussed on helping farmers to improve their productivity and in tandem reduce the environmental impact of their farming operations. This is an opportunity for farmers to look at their existing equipment and decide if they can benefit from some additional add-on technology that improves on what they already have and do, or even support a more fundamental shift in their equipment and farming strategy”.
“There are two elements to this Fund; firstly, the Farming Equipment and Technology Fund, for smaller grants of between £2,000 and £25,000 for equipment, and secondly, the Farming Transformation Fund, which is for more extensive technology improvements and upgrades, with grants between £35,000 and £500,000.”
The Farming Equipment and Technology Fund is along similar lines to the previous Countryside Productivity Small Grants, with farmers able to select from a list of items given at a pre-set value.
At present, the Farming Transformation Fund has only opened the Water Management theme, which supports farmers with grants to improve the efficient use of water in irrigation. Two other themes of “Improving Farm Productivity” and “Adding Value” will be launched in the coming months.
The deadline for the Farming Equipment and Technology Fund, for smaller investment items, is midday on 7 January 2022. The Farming Transformation Fund is open for applications until 12 January 2022.
The applications that score highly enough against each scheme’s objectives will then be invited to make a full application, which will need to be submitted by 30 June 2022.
Arthey Associates are ready to help you prepare for the new online eligibility checker for each Fund and also to make the full application, should you need that support. Please call our office on 01832 270269, or email firstname.lastname@example.org