Q. What grant schemes are currently open to Welsh farmers?
A. In 2014 the Welsh Government chose to transfer 15% of the Pillar 1 CAP budget to Pillar 2, which means a large pot of money is available to support Rural Development. Part of this funds Glastir and although Glastir Entry is no longer open for applications, farmers can apply directly to Glastir Advanced to enter the scheme. Your Expression of Interest must be submitted by 31 March for your land to be considered for selection. There is a large range of options available in the scheme which includes Capital Works items such as fencing, hedge laying and water troughs. It is the Welsh Government, however, that decides if your land will be selected and which Capital Works to offer. Glastir Small Grants are also being released periodically and the Pollinator themed grant is due in September. Farmers are also eagerly awaiting the opening of a new grant in April that will provide 40% funding (up to £12,000) towards a list of 80 items.
For young farmers, the Basic Payment Scheme still offers the Young Farmer top-up for farmers under 40 who have set up as sole traders or have taken control of a partnership/business. Even if the Young Farmer holds a third of the partnership, a joint control agreement can be set up whereby another partner agrees to always vote with the young farmer, giving them majority control. Payment is an extra 25% of the entitlement value for up to 25 hectares of land.
Outside of BPS and Glastir there are grants and support available for diversification. The Food Business Investment Scheme provides investment in processing, marketing and development of agricultural products. The Sustainable Production Grant offers £16,000 - £400,000 for capital investment in facilities and equipment and the Timber Business Investment Scheme is open to forest owners for management of woodland. These schemes open for Expressions of Interest periodically.
A word of warning to applicants for the first round of Glastir Small Grants – Carbon Theme: work needs to be completed by 31 March to claim. If you don’t complete more than 80% of the work you cannot apply for any other Small Grant for two years.
Roger Parry & Partners can help farmers whichever side of the border you farm. For more information contact Clare Jerman at Roger Parry & Partners. Tel: 01938 554499 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org