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Farming investment fund launched 16 November 2021

The Farming Investment Fund has launched which we understand has been adapted by Defra following feedback received from the farming community.

The fund is for investment to improve productivity and enhance the natural environment for example with new equipment, technology, and infrastructure and is made up of 2 parts, the Farming Equipment and Technology Fund and the Farming Transformation Fund.

The Farming Equipment and Technology Fund (which closes 07 January 2022) provides small productivity grants to farmers. Defra based the scheme on the old small productivity grants scheme, with some differences.

The minimum grant has been reduced to £2,000 and the maximum increased to £25,000. As well as farmers, growers and foresters, related contractors can now also apply to reflect the many different methods employed in modern farming businesses.

The number of items on the list has been increased from 85 to 120 which is being kept under review. The ‘all or nothing’ rule has been changed so applicants can remove items in certain situations, to give more flexibility such as in cases where manufacturers are unable to supply all the items before the claim deadline. Such cases will be looked at on a case-by-case basis.

As part of the Animal Health and Welfare Pathway, Defra will be launching a new expanded grant offer late next year to co-fund investment in equipment, technology and infrastructure that will improve animal health and welfare.

Defra have provided farmers with an initial offer to upgrade their slurry management systems through an expanded slurry equipment offer.

As part of The Farming Transformation Fund, the Water Management theme has opened (closes 12 January 2022) which is dedicated to arable and horticultural businesses growing, or intending to grow, irrigated food crops, ornamentals or forestry nurseries and offers grants towards capital items to improve farm productivity through more efficient use of water.

The maximum grant has been increased to £500,000 whilst the minimum remains at £35,000.

Defra have developed an online checker for the Farming Transformation Fund so farmers can determine their eligibility and the likelihood of making a successful claim before submitting an application.

Defra is holding a webinar about the Farming Investment Fund on Mon 22 November 2021 which interested parties can sign up to watch.

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