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This blog post was published under the 2015-2024 Conservative Administration

Introducing Animal Health and Welfare Infrastructure grants

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Payments to support animal health and welfare
A sweet little calf looking at the camera with ear tag
Katie Hunt

We're pleased to share the next steps of the Animal Health and Welfare Pathway. 

Through the first round of the Animal Health and Welfare Equipment and Technology grant, over £19 million will be awarded to more than 3,000 pig, cattle, poultry and sheep farmers. The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) is now writing to successful applicants so they can begin to buy their new equipment. You can help us to shape the next round of the grant.  

Additionally, the Animal Health and Welfare Infrastructure grant will launch shortly with the Calf Housing for Health and Welfare grant.

In this post, we’ll tell you more about this new grant and share the link to the guidance to help you prepare.

The Animal Health and Welfare Infrastructure grant 

Grants of between £15,000 and £500,000 are available for large infrastructure projects that help to continually improve the health and welfare of your animals. 

Initially, the grant will be available for cattle keepers to co-fund new and upgraded calf housing that improves social contact and the ambient environment. 

In time, we’ll extend the offer to include grants for adult cattle, pig and poultry housing.  

This grant represents an opportunity to fund changes on farm that will improve productivity and futureproof calf housing. 

Upgrading or building new calf housing with an ambient environment will help to produce healthy calves that are more likely to be resilient and productive in later life.  

Better housing provides a comfortable temperature, protection from humidity and draughts, as well as allowing social contact between animals.  

It’s positive for the animals and the increases in productivity will benefit your bottom line.

For example, you could get funding for an A-frame building to house dairy calves from birth to weaning, or a mono-pitch building on a beef unit to house calves between 3-6 months. You can also apply for funding for permanent open-sided structures with igloos/hutches and other types of calf housing. 

This is also an opportunity to adapt your calf housing and ensure it’s ready to meet the demands of extreme weather conditions and changing climate. 

Through this grant you will be able to access funding for rooftop solar panels, a great source of thermal insulation and low-cost energy for your calf housing.  

Applying for a grant 

You’ll be able to apply for a grant later this summer. 

To help you prepare, we’ve published the guidance for the Calf Housing for Health and Welfare grant on GOV.UK. 

The guidance explains: 

  • the application process 
  • the information you will need to supply 
  • the features your calf housing should have
  • how the RPA will assess your application. 

You will be required to seek advice from your vet as part of the application process.  

This is to make sure the infrastructure changes funded by the grant reflect the specific health and welfare needs of the calves on your farm.  

One way to get this advice is to apply for an Annual Health and Welfare Review. Available through the Pathway, the Review is a fully-funded visit by your choice of vet. It provides bespoke advice on health and welfare of your animals, as well as access to testing for endemic diseases and conditions. 

We’ll post again when it’s time to make your grant application, so subscribe to the blog for an update. 

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  1. Comment by Dionne Jones posted on

    I just wanted to say well done for including solar panels in the The Animal Health and Welfare Infrastructure grant.

  2. Comment by Richard John Wyatt posted on

    Could be very useful to update our calf house with solar to help make things net zero, but will it 100 percent?

    • Replies to Richard John Wyatt>

      Comment by Sarah Stewart posted on

      Hi Richard,

      The minimum grant you can apply for is £15,000 (40% of £37,500). The maximum grant is £500,000 per applicant business. The minimum grant amount does not include costs associated with rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) panels.

      Grants can cover up to a maximum rate of 40% of the eligible costs of a project. If you’re including rooftop solar PV panels as part of your project, we will only fund the purchase and installation of these up to 25% of the eligible costs.

      You need to be able to pay the remaining project costs. You can use loans, overdrafts, and certain other monies, such as money received through the Basic Payment Scheme or agri-environment schemes such as the Countryside Stewardship scheme.

      You cannot use other public money, such as grant funding from local authorities, towards the project costs. You also cannot use this grant to carry out capital works which you need to do as part of other agreements.

      The information above is taken from the guidance on GOV.UK:

      Best wishes,

  3. Comment by Samuel Graham posted on

    Does this grant for cattle housing apply for farmers who live in Northern Ireland

  4. Comment by Peter & Julie Newman posted on

    Do we have a month which this grant will become open to apply for yet.
    Thanks for your help

    • Replies to Peter & Julie Newman>

      Comment by Sarah Stewart posted on

      Hi Peter and Julie,

      Thank you for for getting in touch. We haven't shared a specific date yet - only that it will be later this summer.

      That said, the team will blog again when it's time to apply, so if you haven't subscribed, please do! You'll get an email notification as soon as we publish a post:

      Best wishes,

  5. Comment by Frank Mukahanana posted on

    Hi Sarah - will there be anything similar for sheep farmers that want to add solar panels to their lambing sheds?

    • Replies to Frank Mukahanana>

      Comment by Sarah Stewart posted on

      Hi Frank,

      Thanks for getting in touch. I put your question to the team who said they are still working on the design of future animal health and welfare grants and will share all the opportunities for grant funding here on the blog. Sorry to not be able to share anything more concrete at this point, but it's worth bookmarking this page on GOV.UK:
      You'll find all the funding opportunities for farmers listed there - from funding for yearly vet visits (Annual Health and Welfare Review) to Farming Equipment and Technology Grants.

      Best wishes,

  6. Comment by Giles B posted on

    Hi Sarah,

    The information above mentions that in time the grant will be extended to cover pig housing (as well as adult cattle and poultry). Do you know when this will be?

    Secondly, will the grant be offered on the same guidelines for other animals? E.G - ‘large infrastructure projects that help to continually improve the health and welfare of your animals.’

    Thank you

    • Replies to Giles B>

      Comment by Sarah Stewart posted on

      Hi Giles,

      To answer your first question, we intend to make funding available for poultry and cattle housing this year, this will be followed by grants for the pig sector.

      And to answer your second question: yes. Grant design will be guided by the Animal Health and Welfare Pathway priorities and co-designed with farmers, vets and other experts.

      I hope this helps,


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