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22nd September 2021
We have welcomed news from the Welsh Government that it intends to extend the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) until 2023, subject to confirmation that there will be sufficient funding provided by the UK government.
The Welsh government has also committed £66m to allow the extension of Glastir Advanced, Commons and Organic contracts until December 2023. An additional £7m will also be used to extend the Farming Connect advice programme through to March 2023.
Richard Corbett, Partner with Roger Parry & Partners has welcomed the news and said it would provide stability to Welsh farming. He added, “By setting out her intention to maintain BPS and Glastir contracts for the next two years, the minister, Lesley Griffiths, has given the government breathing space to properly assess future support policies in Wales. Those involved in the farming industry in Wales must now look to the UK government, through the upcoming comprehensive spending review, to see if they will provide the funding commitments required.”
According to the Welsh Government over 1.3m hectares of Welsh agricultural land come under a Glastir contract and the continuation of the scheme will ensure priority sites and areas in Wales are managed effectively to achieve positive environmental outcomes. This includes conserving and enhancing wildlife and biodiversity, improving soil and water resources, restoring peatland habitats and contributing to the decarbonisation of Welsh agriculture.
All existing eligible contract holders will be offered an extension via their RPW on-line accounts.
The Minister also announced a further £7m to extend the Farming Connect programme through to March 2023. Farming Connect has been key in providing important business support to thousands of farmers and foresters across Wales. This has included identifying areas for improvement, developing skills and helping find more efficient and innovative ways of working.
Lesley Griffiths, the Rural Affairs Minister, said, “Significant and important change is coming which will provide a stable and sustainable future for the industry and rural communities in Wales. In the meantime, the Basic Payment Scheme will remain in place up to 2023, subject to UK Government funding, to provide support for farmers as we work together to transition to the Sustainable Farming Scheme.” For more information about this latest Welsh Government announcement and if you require our assistance in extending your contracts, please call the expert team at Roger Parry & Partners.