As for other UK industries and sectors like tech and property, there are various types of grants and finance schemes available for those involved in the UK’s crucially valuable farming industry. The majority of these are offered and provided by the government, but there are also those which are available and are funded through private businesses and investors for the UK farming market.
As with any business, it is important to get the necessary financial support for your business when you most need it to help you to grow the business, its offering, your client-base and in the case of farmers, by giving farms the financial stability to hire the necessary workers and invest in useful equipment, which has the potential to improve the productivity of the business and improve output, sales and subsequent profits.
It is therefore key as a farming business, that you examine, scrutinise and explore some of the best UK grants and finance schemes for the farming industry, understanding the key features of each, how they all work and how to apply.
What do Grants for the Farming Industry Fund?
Grants for the farming industry and businesses within, fund a wide variety of different projects and areas as well as potential equipment needed for farms and agriculture. They are for example, used to give businesses the necessary support to grow, with the bigger picture in mind being to promote productivity through the entire industry through individual business’ improvements and increases in efficiency.
There are many different grants available for a wide variety of different businesses in the UK, with farming being just one of them. To find out which grants you may be eligible for as a rural, agricultural or farming-related business, visit the Gov.uk website to look through the UK government’s guides on rural grant applications which may or may not apply to you and your business.
There are four main grants for the UK farming industry to consider:
- Farming Ammonia Reduction Grant Scheme
- LEADER funding
- The Countryside Productivity Scheme
- Water Environment Grant (WEG)
Whilst these are some of the major, government-funded grants available throughout the UK, there are many more offered by both the government and private businesses. Therefore, if none of these grants would apply to your situation, there are still many more out there that may do.
Farming Ammonia Reduction Grant Scheme
With the agriculture industry contributing more than 83% of ammonia emissions to the atmosphere, the Farming Ammonia Reduction Grant Scheme helps to encourage those in the farming industry to reduce their emissions as much as possible. It does so by covering the costs for slurry store covers. Slurry store covers reduce the ammonia emissions produced from animal waste. Another benefit of these covers is that they also help to block the odours produced by this slurry and waste. They also restrict the loss of nitrogen from the waste, thereby improving the overall quality of the fertiliser.
This grant will only accept those involved in the dairy and beef sector of farming though, that already have slurry stores in place, as the aim of this grant is to reduce the harmful emissions produced in such cases.
The Countryside Productivity Scheme
The RDPE Countryside Productivity Scheme offers funds for, as the name suggests, projects trying to improve productivity within the farming industry.
This funding scheme is designed and provided to try and improve productivity levels throughout the entire industry of the countryside by for example, creating jobs. Grants within this scheme are offered for aspects of rural businesses such as improving overall productivity of farms, and increasing the value of Agri-food.
The LEADER funding scheme is available to farmers and other parties in farming and agriculture looking to grow their business, increase jobs in the farming sector generally and boost the overall productivity throughout the rural industry and therefore its economy. From 2015 to 2020, the funding scheme has a total £138 million to offer to various different agricultural projects.
When applying, your local LAG group will decide whether your project supports the LEADER funding scheme’s priorities. More information on this can be found on the .gov webpage for Rural Development Programme for England: LEADER funding.
Water Environment Grant (WEG)
Although concerning the improvement of England’s rural, natural environment rather than farming businesses directly, this UK grant is still very much applicable for those with bodies of water that surround their livestock, or have such open bodies of water open to their land.
In addition, those with private water companies may also benefit from this. However, applicants of this nature will have to prove that the scheme is not being used simply to improve their revenue, but rather to primarily better the public space that surrounds the business.
The Water Environment Grant (WEG) is a scheme that funds organisations wanting to improve the overall quality of the water within specified rural parts of England. Applicants are usually organisations or those who own the land that holds the body of water. However, charities and public bodies (e.g. local authorities) are also allowed to apply for this.