The first application window for expression of interest in the new Farm Business Grant Scheme will be 2 May to 30 June 2017.
Funded through the Wales Rural Development Programme (RDP) the Farm Business Grant is designed to help farmers in Wales to improve the economic and environmental performance of the holdings and provides 40% funding towards capital investments in equipment and machinery that have been pre-identified as offering clear and quantifiable benefits to farm enterprises. The key investment themes include cattle equipment, sheep equipment, pig equipment, general equipment, crop management, energy efficiency, resource efficiency together with ICT.
The minimum grant available is £3,000 and the maximum is £12,000 and only one application will be approved per business throughout the lifetime of the Scheme. Businesses that have been successful under the Sustainable Production Grant Scheme will not be eligible.
Welsh Government proposes to open three windows in the 2017/18 financial year with each window open for two months. The first window will open on the 2 May 2017 to the 30 June 2017, there will be further windows in August 2017 and in February 2018.
Key requirements include:
• The farm must have registered with Farming Connect since October 2015 before submitting an application under this scheme and have a valid Customer Reference Number (CRN) and County Parish Holding Number (CPH). You can register with Farming Connect here or call the Farming Connect Service Centre on 08456 000813
• The business must have a minimum of 3ha of agricultural land, or be able to demonstrate 550 standard labour hours, which will be determined at registration with Farming Connect
• A partner in the farming business must attend a Farming for the Future event organised by Farming Connect. Information on Farming Connect events can be accessed here. The individual attending must be registered as a business partner with Farming Connect and Welsh Government Rural Payments Wales
• Businesses with a total turnover exceeding £1m are not eligible for Farm Business Grant.
The application and claim will be submitted online. Further information on the application criteria and guidance notes will be published by Welsh Government shortly and can be accessed on the Welsh Government website here.