The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has launched a new Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF), which offers grants to fund capital projects for small businesses and community infrastructure. The grant is worth £110 million and runs alongside existing DEFRA schemes, such as the Farming Investment Fund to acknowledge and assist with the specific challenges that rural areas often face.
The funding has been allocated to eligible local authorities and will be available from April 2023 to March 2025. The funding must be spent on capital projects in rural areas (i.e. buildings or equipment) for business or community purposes, in order to improve rural productivity.
For the purposes of the grant, a rural area is defined as:
1. Towns, villages and hamlets with populations below 10,000 and the wider countryside
2. Market or ‘hub’ towns with populations of up to 30,000 that serve their surrounding rural areas as centres of employment and in providing services
Example projects which could be funded include food processing equipment, converting farm buildings to other uses or rural tourism diversification such as event venues.
Some of the indicative local authority allocations are detailed below:
The REPF submission window will be open from 3rd October to 30th November 2022, with the date of approval for funding proposals expected to be in January 2023. The REPF will start supporting investments from 1st April 2023 and the local authorities must allocate all funding by 31st March 2025.
For more information or to find out how our Rural Property & Business department can help you please contact 01234 352201 or 01280 428010 or email email@example.com
The Countryside Stewardship Capital Grants Scheme opened on 9th February 2021 and combines the Water Quality grant with the Hedgerows and Boundaries grants with a much wider range of options.
It is a two year grant directed towards capital works in three categories, these being boundaries, trees and orchards; water quality and air quality. The primary aim of the grant is to deliver environmental benefits across these three areas and allows those not in Countryside Stewardship Mid Tier or under a wildlife offer to access capital grants. In addition, if you are in Countryside Stewardship but you did not include all your fields and farm buildings, you may still be eligible.
There are 67 capital items available in the scheme including sheep fencing next to environmental features, and the total amount of funding has been increased from £10,000 to £60,000, although there is a limit of £20,000 per category.
Some items will need approval from a Catchment Sensitive Farming Officer (CSFO) before an application can be submitted which need to be applied for by the 19th March. These items are as follows:
|RP4||Livestock and machinery hardcore tracks|
|RP13||Yard – underground drainage pipework|
|RP14||Yard inspection pit|
|RP15||Concrete yard renewal|
|RP17||Storage tanks underground|
|RP18||Above ground tanks|
|RP19||First flush rainwater diverters and downpipe filters|
|RP20||Relocation of sheep dips and pens|
|RP21||Relocation of sheep pens only|
|RP22||Sheep dip drainage aprons and sumps|
|RP23||Installation of livestock drinking troughs (in draining pens for freshly dipped sheep)|
|RP24||Lined biobed plus pesticide loading and washdown area|
|RP25||Lined biobed with existing washdown area|
|RP27||Sprayer or applicator load and washdown area|
|RP28||Roofing (sprayer washdown area, manure storage area, livestock gathering area, slurry stores, silage stores)|
|RP29||Self-supporting covers for slurry and anaerobic digestate stores|
|RP30||Floating covers for slurry and anaerobic digestate stores|
|AQ1||Automatic slurry scraper|
|AQ2||Low ammonia emission flooring for livestock buildings|
|TE4||Supply and plant a tree|
|TE5||Supplement for use of individual tree-shelters|
Applications for the Capital Grants Scheme must be submitted by midnight on 30th April 2021 and can be submitted in conjunction with a Mid Tier Wildlife Offer, or as a standalone application.
For more information or to find out how our Rural Property & Business department can help you please contact Katie Cross, Apprentice Rural Surveyor on 01234 362935 or email firstname.lastname@example.org