Future Grant Schemes
The new grant schemes offered by the Rural Payments Agency are proposed to be one of the main substitutes for Direct Payments. The key details and types of grants to consider are summarised below into four categories:
Farming Investment Fund
- From Autumn 2021, applications can be made for funding associated with equipment, technology, and infrastructure that improves farm productivity and benefits the environment.
- This fund will be split into two main categories: Equipment and Technology Fund and the Farming Transformation fund.
- The scheme will be based on the Countryside Productivity Scheme, with a similar application process.
- Eligible investments could include:
- On-farm water storage infrastructure, including reservoirs
- Precision agriculture equipment (low emission and variable-rate nutrient or pesticide application)
- Robotic or automated technology
- Equipment and technology for storing, sorting, or processing products
Animal Health and Welfare
- From 2022 the RPA aims to provide capital grants and financially support vet visits for health and welfare management.
- The RPA is also piloting payments-by-results in 2023, which will aim to reward farmers for improvements in animal welfare and husbandry.
- As part of the government’s 25 Year Environment Plan and Net Zero commitments a slurry investment scheme will be offered from 2022.
- The scheme will help farmers invest in new slurry stores that exceed current regulatory requirements.
- The scheme will also enable farmers to adopt other pollution-reducing measures such as low emission spreaders (to be a legal requirement by 2025).
Woodland Creation and Support
- There are several schemes available for woodland creation and protection. These include:
- The Woodland Creation and Planning Grant
- Countryside Stewardship
- Woodland Carbon Fund
- HS2 Woodland Fund
- Woodland Carbon Guarantee
- There will be a new Tree Health scheme in 2024 which will replace the Countryside Stewardship Woodland Capital Tree Health Restoration and Improvement grants. This is likely to include support for felling and the treatment of diseased trees with restocking following felling.
The majority of the grants above commence next year and we expect to have further updates from DEFRA in the early part of 2021. Please get in touch with the team if any of these grants are of interest and you would like to discuss how they could benefit your business.