Two very popular RPA grant funding schemes have recently seen some movement after a long period of radio silence, which is welcome news to farmers and other rural businesses.
The Improving Farm Productivity Scheme funded Robotic equipment, energy efficiency equipment and slurry/digestate management equipment has been given additional funds to issue decisions to applications which were put on hold when the initial budget ran out.
Whilst the scheme is not reopening to new applicants, farmers have waited nearly a year from submission of the application to final decision on their project.
Following Minister Eustace resuming his position he has remobilised funds to allow these grants to be looked at again. They have asked patient applicants if they have started the project, if they would like to continue, to amend the milestones to name a few. If there were any outstanding queries on the RPA system these will need to be answered.
Growth Programme Scheme
The Growth Programme Scheme may reopen as part of remobilised and unspent funds too. The Growth Programme funded Rural Business development, Food Processing projects and Rural Tourism projects.
This is likely to reopen in November with a short period for Expression of Interest forms followed by a period until July 2020 to submit the full application. This will have significant interest therefore only the strongest projects will be successful, and funding is likely to be limited.
The RPA confirmed there is likely to be some small changes from the first round which are yet to be confirmed.
If you have a Farm Productivity project which has been looked at again and need assistance in getting the project to a final decision or are interested in the Growth Programme, please contact your local Brown& Co ABC contact.
Brown & Co have successfully applied for nearly £11 million across 127 projects for clients nationwide, with a further £3.5 million awaiting approval to date, proving an excellent success rate and well placed to advise on both opportunities.