Improvements to countryside Productivity Small Grants scheme
A number of changes have been confirmed today to the Countryside Productivity Small Grants scheme.
The popular productivity funding scheme, which helps farmers to buy the equipment they need to boost productivity, save time and increase yields.
The scheme has proved popular so far, with more than 3,500 grants worth EUR 23.5 million being awarded to successful applicants.
However, Defra is aware that some farmers are experiencing issues with the delivery of a small number of items for livestock handling within the scheme's 150-day deadline.
From today, farmers who are facing difficulties with these items can pay for them in full and submit their claims within the 150-day deadline. They can then take delivery of their equipment after the 150 days and will receive payment once the item has been delivered. The Rural Payments Agency will be writing to those affected within the next few days.
Defra will also be opening a second round of funding, due to open in the Autumn, giving farmers who withdrew their applications, the option to have it reinstated now or in the next round. The Rural Payments Agency will be contacting grant recipients who have an offer for livestock handling equipment but have withdrawn because of issues with livestock handling equipment, to inform them of this option. Any other supply issues should be discussed with the RPA separately.
Most of the items offered through the scheme are readily available from different stockists, so applicants are encouraged to shop around when looking for items so that they can claim as quickly as possible.