• Tel: 01884 839980

    Chartered Surveyors, Valuers & Land Agents

  • Future Grant Funding

  • Matthew Reed summarises the potential new funding streams planned as part of Defra’s ‘Path to Sustainable Farming.’

    Farming Investment Fund – This is an umbrella for two productivity grants schemes which will open in autumn 2021:

    • Farming Equipment and Technology Fund: This will offer grants to pay towards the purchase cost of a list of specified, pre-determined items. There will be a simple online application and approval process, with a clear grant value assigned to each item. It will be based on the current Countryside Productivity Small Capital Grant Scheme.
    • Farm Transformation Fund: This will offer grants to pay towards the cost of more substantial investments in equipment, technology or infrastructure, with the potential to transform business performance; examples provided include:
    • on-farm water storage infrastructure, including reservoirs
    • precision agriculture equipment
    • robotic or automated technology
    • items to improve animal health
    • equipment and technology for storing, sorting, or processing products

    New Entrants Support Scheme: It is planned this will open in 2022 and will encourage the creation of opportunities for new entrants from councils and private landowners. There is little detail on structure, but we think funding may be available for advice on joint ventures and/or help to match landowners with new entrants.

    Slurry Investment Scheme: This will pay a proportion of the cost of covers to slurry stores and new stores (to meet a new six-month storage requirement). It is likely that DEFRA will utilise catchment sensitive farming officers to support and deliver this scheme. Funding will be available from late 2022 and is likely to run until 2024/25. Details will be published in 2021.

    Innovation, research and development funds: From early 2022 DEFRA wants to invite applications for grants to help improve research and knowledge transfer to farmers by providing funding for projects led by farmers and farmer consortiums to develop technology and solve productivity problems, and then help demonstrate and share the results to the wider industry.

    Farming in protected landscapes support: This will be a scheme starting in 2021 and running through to 2024 and the main focus will be on the uplands, to help them prepare for ELM from 2024 onwards. Advice and grant funding to help grow businesses and diversify is likely to be delivered by existing AONB and NP authorities.

    Animal health & welfare support: A ‘pathway’ to promote the production of healthier, higher-welfare animals at a level beyond compliance with current regulations is being developed. This will include health and disease support – which is being trialled as a payment-by-results scheme –   alongside capital grants for equipment. Both schemes should open in 2022.

    We will provide more details as and when they are released in the coming months.