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https://defrafarming.blog.gov.uk/2022/05/23/farming-investment-fund-a-new-grant/

Farming Investment Fund: a new grant

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Payments for equipment, technology and infrastructure
Silverton Farmland
Credit: Alison Day

In November, we launched the Farming Investment Fund. 

It included the Farming Equipment and Technology Fund and the Water Management theme of the Farming Transformation Fund. An Improving Farm Productivity theme was added in January 2022.  

We're really pleased with the level of interest across all the offers so far.

Before we launched Improving Farm Productivity in January, we made the manual available for people to look at on GOV.UK. Feedback suggests you found this helpful. So ahead of its launch in June, we are making the manual for the next theme available today: Adding Value.   

Adding Value

This £30 million fund will offer grants focused on supporting farmers and growers to process, diversify and add-value to their products.  It will offer grants of between £25,000 and £300,000 for up to 40% of eligible project costs.  

By way of a short introduction, the grants awarded through Adding Value will pay for capital items to enable you to add value to eligible agricultural products, after they’ve been harvested or reared. Details on eligible capital items is contained within the manual. They include:   

  • equipment for preparing or processing edible agricultural products for added value sales 
  • equipment for ‘second stage’ processing of grain - for example, colour sorting, blending 
  • equipment for processing non-edible agricultural products into new products (for example, flax, hemp, wool, hides, and skins) 
  • equipment for retailing eligible agricultural products (for example, vending machines or display facilities) 
  • premises for the preparation or processing of added value agricultural products, including associated integral storage areas. 

You can apply for a grant if you are: 

  • a grower or other producer of agricultural products (by which we mean you carry on an agricultural or horticultural activity, including rearing livestock) 
  • a business processing agricultural or horticultural products which is at least 50% owned by agricultural or horticultural producers. 

The manual for Adding Value is available on GOV.UK.

Applying

You won’t be able to apply for Adding Value grants until it launches in June, but this manual should help you consider your options and to make a choice in a timely way. It provides information on eligibility and what is and isn’t included.  

Remember, you can also apply for more than one theme under the Farming Transformation Fund, so long as the application windows are open.

This is in addition to an application under the Farming Equipment and Technology Fund up to the £25,000 maximum for that fund. 

Step 1: An eligibility and desirability check  

We’ve created an online checker, which will be available as soon as the application window opens in June. It will give you an idea of your chance of success. Please note, Adding Value grants apply to England only. 

Step 2: An invitation  

If your project scores highly enough, we will invite you to submit a full application. You will need to complete a full application form and send this with your supporting documents (including quotes) to the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) by email.  

Successful projects will be provided with details about how to do this when the scheme is open for applications.   

You will then have until 31 January 2024 to submit your full application. If you need planning permission, then this must be approved and submitted with your full application.  

Dates for your calendars   

  • 30 June: Deadline for full applications from those invited to apply for the Water Management theme.  Planning permission and any abstraction license requirements need to be in place by the 31 December 2022. If you have any questions about the Water Management theme, please email the Rural Payments Agency: FTF@rpa.gov.uk  
  • 14 September: Closing date for those invited to make an application for Improving Farm Productivity. Should your project need planning permission this needs to be in place by 31 December 2022. If you have any questions about the Improving Farm Productivity theme, please email the Rural Payments Agency: FTF@rpa.gov.uk .
  • 30 October: Deadline to claim for equipment under the Farming Equipment and Technology Fund. If you have questions about the Farming Equipment and Technology fund, email the Rural Payments Agency FETFEnquiries@rpa.gov.uk 

If you have any questions about the new Adding Value grant, or comments on our Farming Investment Fund offer, please comment below. For information about your personal situation, contact the Rural Payments Agency:  FTF@rpa.gov.uk .

A webinar to learn more about funding opportunities

We are hosting a webinar for people to learn more about innovation and productivity funding opportunities. The team will be on hand to answer questions.

Sign up for the event on Tue 31 May 2022 at 11:00.

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33 comments

  1. Comment by Richard Rampton posted on

    Do you really mean that 31/1/24 is the closing date for applications? Not 2023?
    If 2024, does that mean that awards will only be made some time in the middle of 2024?

    Reply
    • Replies to Richard Rampton>

      Comment by The Team posted on

      Hi Richard,

      Yes, the date provided is correct, it is 2024. Applying for the Adding Value theme is a 2-stage process, following closure of the online checker the strongest applications will be invited to make a full application. This will need to be submitted by 31 January 2024 at the latest. If your application needs planning permission, this will need to included with the full application. Applications will be appraised and awarded as they are received.

      Best wishes,
      The Team

      Reply
    • Replies to Richard Rampton>

      Comment by Ralph THOMPSON posted on

      What is a realistic timescale having an application approved and therefore being able to start a project?

      What level of grant per job you're looking for?

      Thanks

      Ralph

      Reply
      • Replies to Ralph THOMPSON>

        Comment by The Team posted on

        Thanks for your questions, Ralph. You must wait until the project start date as confirmed in your Grant Funding Agreement before you start work or commit to any costs (including paying deposits), enter into any legal contracts or place an order. Experience shows it usually takes three to four months for applicants to complete their full application and gather all the required supporting evidence.

        For the Adding Value theme if your project needs planning permission this must be submitted with the full application, and you will need to factor this into the timescale. Once submitted, the RPA aim to appraise full applications within 60 working days. Therefore, depending on how quickly you can put together an application and whether planning permission is already in place an indicative timescale is 6 to 8 months from the time you are invited to make a full application.

        Regarding your second question on the level of grant per job, this does not form part of the assessment criteria.

        Reply
  2. Comment by barrie crowther posted on

    Do these grants have to be paid back ?

    Reply
    • Replies to barrie crowther>

      Comment by The Team posted on

      Hi Barrie,

      Thanks for visiting the blog. No they don't have to be paid back - they're grants rather than loans.

      If you have any other questions, let us know!

      Best wishes,
      The Team.

      Reply
  3. Comment by Selina Green posted on

    what if you want to start up your own farm what grant would i need please.

    Reply
  4. Comment by Karen posted on

    Are these grants for England only??

    Reply
    • Replies to Karen>

      Comment by The Team posted on

      Good morning, Karen. You are correct, the Adding Value grants apply to England only. I've passed your comment on to the team to update the guidance to make this clear.

      Reply
  5. Comment by DB posted on

    The minimum grant of £25000 will be prohibitive for many many projects from smaller farmers and businesses who could be most in need. Will there be in help for smaller but significant projects any time soon?

    Reply
    • Replies to DB>

      Comment by The Team posted on

      Thanks for your question and feedback, DB. In response to stakeholder comments we have reduced the minimum from that applied to Improving Farm Productivity and Water Management by £10,000. We continue to keep the minimum and maximum grant amounts for each theme under review and your comments are noted.

      Reply
  6. Comment by Janet posted on

    When will applications that are submitted ahead of this date hear whether they are successful or not? Will this be around the 60 working day turnaround please, or will they be held and considered in either batches or not considered until the 2024 closing date? Many thanks.

    Reply
    • Replies to Janet>

      Comment by The Team posted on

      Thanks for your questions, Janet. The highest scoring applications on the online checker will be invited to make a full application. These will then be appraised by the RPA, with successful applicants notified on an ongoing basis.

      Reply
      • Replies to The Team>

        Comment by Janet posted on

        Brilliant thank you very much. I think I might have sent this question in twice, apologies.

        Reply
  7. Comment by Janet posted on

    As there is a long application period, when will applicants hear if they are successful, will it be aiming at the 60 working days post submission with applicants being appraised and awarded individually? Or will applications be batched similar to the growth programme and awarded in tranches or even rolled until the end? Many thanks.

    Reply
    • Replies to Janet>

      Comment by The Team posted on

      Thanks for your question, Janet.

      It is intended that the Fund evolves over time so that it is better able to target capital investments that support behavioural change which will ultimately provide quantitative progress against public priorities in areas such as environmental sustainability and net zero. Scheme budget allocations for Round 1 have been completed, and a determination of round 2 budget allocations will be made once round 1 has been completed and a review has taken place of the spend.

      Experience shows it usually takes three to four months for applicants to complete their full application and gather all the required supporting evidence. For the Adding Value theme, if your project needs planning permission this must be submitted with the full application, and you will need to factor this into the timescale. Once submitted, the RPA aim to appraise full applications within 60 working days. So, depending on how quickly you can put together an application and whether planning permission is already in place, an indicative timescale is 6 to 8 months from the time you are invited to make a full application.

      Reply
  8. Comment by Janet Herniman posted on

    I was booked to access the FTF adding value to food and farm innovation webinar this morning. The eventbrite joining details for zoom don't seem to be working. Is there a recording of the webinar I can access please.

    Many thanks,
    Janet

    Reply
    • Replies to Janet Herniman>

      Comment by The Team posted on

      Thank you for your interest in the webinar, Janet. We're sorry you weren't able to access it on the day as there were some technical issues. There is now a recording available here https://youtu.be/AF1IOSkYjQc

      Reply
  9. Comment by Nick Middleton posted on

    I have a project that fits the criteria Ie a vending machine based farm shop to sell our produce and some equipment we need to develop a grain processing and bagging business we have started. All of the grants are continually aimed at larger projects and are cutting us smaller people out. I would imagine I would have a total project cost for the farm shop of £25k and £5k. Should I presume that these ideas are excluded and there is unlikely to be any further schemes that would include them?

    Thanks, Nick

    Reply
    • Replies to Nick Middleton>

      Comment by The Team posted on

      Thanks for your comment and question, Nick. We take on board farmers' feedback in relation to the scheme, and as a result we have lowered the entry point for Adding Value theme from £35,000 to £25,000. This would require a minimum project value of £62,500 for 40% grant funding. The scheme is intended for higher value, complex project investments which bring transformative improvements to the farm business.

      We appreciate the feedback you have provided with regards to the entry point and we will continue to review this position for future rounds of the Transformation Fund scheme. It is worth noting that the Farming Equipment and Technology is a grant scheme available for farmers with a minimum investment of £2,000 required, this may be a scheme of interest for you to apply when it opens in future rounds.

      Reply
  10. Comment by Steven posted on

    We need to provide some sheep housing for our sheep to reduce winter poaching and subsequent water pollution.
    Is there any grants available

    Reply
  11. Comment by CHINEDU EGBUONU posted on

  12. Comment by Richard stanley posted on

    I have seen the initial application window has closed. I have missed it. Is there a possibility of it being reopened?

    Reply
    • Replies to Richard stanley>

      Comment by Sarah Stewart posted on

      Hi Richard,

      I've just checked with the team - no decisions have yet been taken of when a second round of the Adding Value fund will be run. For the latest, make sure to subscribe to the blog and do check this page on GOV.UK for a full list of one-off grants and ongoing payments that are currently available: defrafarming.blog.gov.uk/how-farming-is-changing/

      Best wishes,
      Sarah

      Reply
  13. Comment by George Neville-Jones posted on

    Good morning team, we are a developer of agricultural technology. When will the next phase of the FETF be open? Many thanks. Best, George

    Reply
    • Replies to George Neville-Jones>

      Comment by The Team posted on

      Hi George,

      Thanks for your question and for your interest in the Farming Equipment and Technology Fund. We're going to publish more information shortly - we'll share it here on the blog so do subscribe if you haven't already.

      Best wishes,
      The Team

      Reply
  14. Comment by David Alder posted on

    I am looking to improve the housing conditions of my suckler herd, when will the animal health and Welfare capital grants be available. If you have a information on the grant can you please e mail to me.

    Regards David Alder

    Reply
    • Replies to David Alder>

      Comment by The Team posted on

      Hi David,

      We're planning to launch Animal Health and Welfare capital Grants late 2022/early 2023. These grants are part of the Animal Health and Welfare Pathway, rather than the Farming Investment Fund.

      Farmers can apply for grants to co-fund capital investments to support the delivery of health and welfare priorities. This will include: smaller grants, where farmers can select from a list of equipment and technology items; and larger grants, for bespoke infrastructure projects such as new housing, building upgrades and pasture improvements.  

      More information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/animal-health-and-welfare-pathway/animal-health-and-welfare-pathway#funding-programmes

      Best wishes,
      The Team

      Reply

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